Features - The Irrawaddy Magazine
Art for Peace

The works of more than 100 artists including prominent activist Min Ko Naing go on sale at a peace-themed exhibit in Burma’s biggest city.

From Plastic, Ex-Political Prisoner Makes Art

A Burmese artist on display in London this month learned to make collages in prison with plastic bags, instant coffee packets and other recycled goods.

Prison Fight

Prisoners in Thailand can win respect, better conditions and time off their sentences if they defeat foreign opponents in jail-yard boxing matches.

The Ties That Bind

An army past has long been the businessman’s best asset—but the rules of the game may now be shifting.

Shan Model-Waitress A Draw for Thai Restaurant

Despite working 10 hours a day as a waitress, an ethnic Shan migrant in Chiang Mai pursues her dream of becoming a famous model.

What Burma’s Rebel Educators Want From School Reform

Can the government find a way to negotiate with non-state education systems created by ethnic Karen and other rebel groups during decades of civil war?

Sex Sells in Burma’s Sin City

Nowhere in culturally conservative Burma is it easier to find sex than in Mong La, a Sino-Burmese border town with a reputation for the illicit.

Market Growth and Moral Decline in Mong La

The Sino-Burmese border town of Mong La has long been a den of vice, but that hasn’t stopped Burma’s president from exhorting its economic success.

Mandalay’s Handmade Gold Leaf Industry Under Threat

Golf leaf manufacturers in Mandalay say cheaper, machine-made foil—which is of lower quality—is now being used at Rangoon’s Shwedagon Pagoda.

In US, Burmese Sushi Chef Crafts New Career on Incubator Farm

A physicist from Armenia, a juice-maker from Bermuda and a Burmese sushi chef all join a program that applies the business incubator model to farming.

Getting the Word Out

Yangon’s music scene is flowering, with an open mic night at Transit Shed No. 1 and a concert including world-class musicians at the National Theater.

Phantoms of Flight

In Myanmar and elsewhere in Southeast Asia, ghosts are said to haunt airports, popping up everywhere from cockpits to arrivals halls.

In Burma, Risky Drugstore Sales a Regular Part of Life

Despite the chance of negative reactions, many Burmese bypass the doctor’s office to buy prescription-only medicine without prescriptions, hoping to save money and time.

On the Border, a Lifeline for Burma Migrants With HIV

An ethnic Karen woman finds support for her illness after moving to Thailand, where she now helps run a shelter for orphans and vulnerable women.

A Lifetime of War, with No Peace in Sight

A 92-year-old Kachin man, who is living in a camp for internally displaced person, recalls his decades of fighting against—and for—the Tatmadaw.

Standing Tall

A synagogue in central Yangon testifies to the resilience of the city’s Jewish community despite the many setbacks of the past.

Can Meditation Really Slow Aging?

Is there real science in the spiritualism of meditation? Elizabeth Blackburn, a Nobel Prize-winning biochemist in the United States, thinks so.

Portraits of Burma’s Independence Hero

An art exhibition to honor Gen. Aung San opens on Saturday, the 67th anniversary of the independence hero’s assassination by a political rival in Rangoon.

Burmese Workers Still Manning Thai Dream Island

On the upmarket resort island of Ko Tao, about 70 percent of workers in the tourism industry hail from southern Burma.

In West Burma, Ancient City Needs Care: Activists

In Mrauk U, a campaign is under way to preserve religious edifices that date back to Arakanese kingdoms but have been neglected for years.