Myanmar Swing

After living four years in North Korea, Carla Vitantonio lands in Yangon, the most populous and lively city in Myanmar. Just like the country that will host her, she is going through an overwhelming transformation, tossed between ancient conflicts and promising news. Her role is that of regional director for an important NGO. Her goal is to assist disabled people through numerous programs, including support for landmine victims. The first year is not easy at all, in Myanmar everything follows a logic that is impossible to decipher and it takes time to find one’s place. Then, thanks to two cats, a bicycle on which to whiz through the dangers of Burmese roads, a queer community among the most open on the Asian continent and negotiations in the jungle with rebel militias, the author begins to develop an ever deeper bond. with these remote lands and with the people who live there, offering readers a unique view – of a woman, actress, activist, cooperator – to understand another piece of Asia.

A memoir about the experience of life and work in a country that, through these stories, is in the end a little less alien. No novel, travel report or in-depth essay has so far succeeded as well in this enterprise.

Junko Terao, Internazionale