Alex Bescoby presents ‘The Changing of Kings’ at Somerset House
Integrity’s Alex Bescoby presents ‘The Changing of Kings’ at Somerset House
On Monday night, Integrity’s Alex Bescoby delivered a talk entitled ‘The Changing of Kings – a lens on history and division in Myanmar’ at Somerset House, to a cross section of people from government, private and development sectors, and academia. The interactive presentation took us on a journey into the deep historical roots of Myanmar’s ethnic, religious and political divisions, explored how this might change our interaction with Myanmar professionally and personally, and shed light on Alex’s experience creating ‘Burma’s Lost Royals‘, his documentary due out in early 2016.
The documentary examines the importance of understanding the legacy of Myanmar’s colonial experience to understand the country we see today, and the dramatic elections of November 2015. It does so in a uniquely engaging way – through the lives and testimony of four descendants of Myanmar’s last King, dethroned and exiled by the British Empire 130 years ago. The different ways in which these charismatic ex-royals perceive their royal past gives a deeper understanding of the complex interplay between history, nationalism and identity in modern Myanmar.
Following Alex’s presentation, we can’t wait to see the documentary when it airs.
More on Burma’s Lost Royals:
“For a millennium, Burma’s royal family was central to the country’s politics, religion, and society. But in 1885, the monarchy was swept aside by the British Empire. Since then, a succession of rulers has struggled to hold this politically, ethnically and religiously divided country together. Meanwhile, Burma’s royals, exiled and silenced, vanished into history. Until now. After 130 years, Burma’s royal family lives on, hidden among the people their ancestors used to rule. After a chance meeting Alex Bescoby began documenting their lives on film in 2014, and in their story he found the saga of modern Burma itself.”
Alex has been working to understand Myanmar’s history, politics and society for over seven years. Alex first visited Myanmar in 2008 on a scholarship from Cambridge University, to research his thesis on Myanmar’s modern political history. He has since lived and worked in Myanmar, explored extensively, and is now documenting on film a country that has captivated his heart and imagination. He has just returned from Myanmar, filming with the family during the course of the elections.
Thank you very much to our guests who attended and those who expressed interest. We hope to see you again at Somerset House soon!
Follow Alex on Twitter: @AlexBescoby
Read more about the documentary’s production: www.grammar-productions.com
At Integrity, we’re committed to going above and beyond to understand the complex contexts in which we work. One such context is Myanmar, where Integrity has been working since 2012. View examples of Integrity’s work in Myanmar: www.integrityglobal.com/our-work/projects/myanmar/