“One of Burma’s Limbs is Rotten”. The Burmese writer Ma Thida in an interview with Igor Blazevic.
An interview with the Burmese writer, doctor and human rights activist. Ma Thida is a well-known intellectual in Myanmar. Her books address the political situation in her country. She worked as the editor of a Burmese youth monthly, and at the Moslem Free Hospital, which renders free services to the poor. In 1994, she was arrested and sentenced to twenty years, following an accusation of being in contact with illegal organisations and disseminating forbidden literature. After six years in prison, she was released not only because of her deteriorating health but also owing to the pressure from human rights organisations. Ma Thida founded PEN Myanmar, an organisation whose mission is to maintain free discussion in the country, promote the development of culture and literature, and, last but not least, to monitor freedom of speech. In 2016, this Burmese dissident was awarded the “Disturbing the Peace” prize, dedicated to writers who share the ideas of Vaclav Havel and awarded by the New-York-based Vaclav Havel Library Foundation. She was interviewed by Igor Blazevic. He was born in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a graduate in philosophy and comparative literature from the Faculty of Arts of the University of Zagreb. Since 1991 he has worked in the Czech Republic and is the founder and director of One World, the biggest human rights festival in Europe. In the spring of 2021, Ma Thida was invited for a writer’s stay in the Czech Republic, which was supported by PEN International, The Vaclav Havel’s Library Foundation in New York, the Theatre Institute – Institute of Art, and the DOX Centre for Contemporary Art.