Strange bedfellows or trusted comrades? Digital solidarity-building among Myanmar’s revolutionaries
Might the process of struggling against a common dictator enable a broad-based development of solidarity among traditionally divided communities? As the Myanmar military’s intensified violence since its 2021 coup attempt has hindered cross-group interactions on the ground, little is known about how inter-ethnic solidarity has continued to develop. Since many digitally-connected revolutionaries across Myanmar took to social media in order to condemn the military and mobilize resistance, studying these groups’ online interactions will provide critical insights into their internal dynamics.
By analyzing conversations throughout the one-year period following the coup on three of the most popular revolutionary groups on Facebook from Bamar and non-Bamar communities, we find a two-step process of inter-ethnic solidarity building. Commitment to collaborate with and accommodate other groups first emerged out of a pragmatic logic and then developed more organically into empathy through online exposure to other groups’ suffering at the hand of the common enemy.
Megan Ryan is a PhD Candidate at the Department of Political Science, University of Michigan.
Mai Van Tran is a Postdoc at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies, University of Copenhagen.
Swan Ye Htut is a PhD student at the Department of Sociology, Stanford University.
CHAIR: Hunter Marston
The Myanmar Research Centre Dialogue Series’ 2023 program includes a special series of nine presentations on the theme of revolution and solidarity in Myanmar, which is based on a collection of papers commissioned by the Myanmar Research Centre and the Danish Institute for International Studies.
ANU Myanmar Research Centre Dialogue Series
5-6pm (AEST) (UTC+10), 1.30- 2:30pm MMT (UTC+6.30)
The dialogues in the series will be held in hybrid mode, ie in-person on the ANU Campus, and virtually on zoom.
- IN-PERSON: Hedley Bull Building #130, Cnr Garran Rd and Liversidge Street, ANU, Acton, 2600 ACT
- ONLINE: Zoom. Once you register here, you will receive access to the online event page in Eventbrite where you will find the join link for the zoom meeting. Please select the relevant ticket, in-person or online, according to your preferred attendance mode.
For more information on the MRC 2023 Dialogue Series please see the MRC website or contact the Convenors:
You can subscribe to the ANU Myanmar Research Centre mailing list here.
We look forward to seeing you there.