Goethe-Institut Reopens in Myanmar
For the first time since its closing in 1962 the Goethe-Institut ReopensJune 22nd, 2018
On the evening of June 11, 2018, a new Goethe-Institut opened its doors in an old villa for the first time since the first institute had to close only 3 years after it was founded.
Under the presence of the Vice President of the German Bundestag, Thomas Oppermann, the President of the Goethe-Institut, Klaus-Dieter Lehmannn, the Burman Minister for education and research and the Chief Minister of Yangon, the new institute opened its doors with a celebratory event and the consecration of monks from the nearby monastery. It was opened with the hope of a successful cultural collaboration between Myanmar and Germany.
In 1959, the first Goethe-Institut in the Southeast Asian region was founded, only to be closed again in 1962, just a few months after the putsch by General Ne Win. After new reforms a few years back, Germany became the first country to sign a cultural agreement with Myanmar opening a Goethe-Institut in a makeshift premise.
The institute’s director, Xander Augustin, wants to give room for artists who have a critical view of their country as it used to be more liberal than it is now. For example, Htein Lin, fought the military dictatorship from the jungle and later was imprisoned. Another artist, who’s work can be seen is that of Tschum Mu Kai, a graffiti-painter.
Their art is shown in protected rooms of the institute, as censorship has officially been banned since 2012, but there are still many taboos.