Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

List of Illustrations

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. vii

read more

Preface

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. ix-xi

December 15, 1996: Two-dozen student protesters, carrying shoulder bags, gather in a knot in the center of a major arterial road in Ahlone Township. They stop sixty meters away from a roadblock hastily erected by soldiers who are scrambling to get to the scene of each hit-and-run demonstration. ...

read more

1. Rangoon: End of Strife

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-11

A prostitute lies in the mud under a bridge, a knife pressed to her throat. A teenage boy, the son of an army colonel, squats beside a major arterial road plunging a used syringe full of almost pure heroin into his ankle. A young mother sucks betel paste off a banana leaf and presses her shriveled nipple into her emaciated baby’s mouth...

read more

2. Bombs, Barricades, and the Urban Battlefield

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 12-32

In the fiercest heat of the year, I ride a boat and then a pony cart to a small town not far from Rangoon, in the lower Burma delta. It takes two hours and I am lulled by the soft lap, lap, lapping of the brown waves against the eroded banks, and the graceful arc made by the fishing nets from the boatmen hugging the banks...

read more

3. Darker Than Midnight: Fear, Vulnerability, and Terror-Making

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 33-57

Ethnography conducted under conditions of fear and terror defies traditional methods of data collection.1 My fieldwork interpretations and the very framework by which I determine whom to interview and why are consciously embedded in a belief in the need to write against terror (Taussig 1987). ...

read more

4. Sometimes a Cigar Is Just a Cigar

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 58-78

Nightmares frighten us because, for a little time, we are unable to tell what is real and what is the product of our imagination. This process began to colonize my waking world. The city became a surreal juxtaposition of the sinister and the mundane. ...

read more

5. The Veneer of Modernity

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 79-97

It is only a one-hour flight from the modern Thai capital of Bangkok to Rangoon, but the difference is extraordinary. There is perhaps no other country in the world that has closed its tertiary institutions for most of the last decade; where a lost generation of youth turn to heroin if they’re wealthy...

read more

6. The Veneer of Conformity

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 98-119

One of the most common propaganda signboards seen in urban areas is the National Conference signboard. It depicts a procession of progress, a march of prosperity where a young Burmese man holds aloft the Union flag, a beautiful young Burmese woman by his side (Figure 8). ...

read more

7. The Tension of Absurdity

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 120-146

Before we leave the city limits and witness the suffering and dissociative strategies of the peri-urban poor, let us indulge in some dark humor, some subversive sayings, and perhaps even a little karaoke with friends. In short, let us discover the limits of discourse as a survival strategy. ...

read more

8. Fragments of Misery: The People of the New Fields

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 147-172

Soon after the failed democracy uprising in 1988, mysterious fires swept through neighborhoods in central Mandalay and Rangoon suspected to harbor people with democratic sympathies, as well as those townships abutting sites marked for tourist development. ...

read more

9. The Forest of Time

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 173-206

Despite the ‘‘miasma of fear’’ that Aung San Suu Kyi has described cloaking Burma, there is clearly both open and collective resistance to the military regime. The continued existence of the National League for Democracy, despite its dwindling ranks as members are imprisoned, intimidated, and die in custody...

read more

10. Going to Sleep with Karaoke Culture

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 207-212

It is late 2001, the rains have stopped and the cool season has begun. I board the Circle Line train, its detergent advertising obscured by a shiny new coat of paint, already peeling in the tropical humidity. I jump off at the level crossing near Nyaungbintha and begin the trek out to the townships. ...

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 213-222

Bibliography

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 223-234

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 235-245

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 247-248