It’s just a month old, but a new Instagram account is doing its best to tap into the historical imagination and nostalgia of Myanmar’s social media-savvy youth — and it’s already got our attention.
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The “rock and roll” (1977) album cover was inspired by fantasy art that was popular at the western then. Min Min Latt and Nay Nay Hlaing Zins’ then Friend Soe Thein gave a few scientific fiction novel to an artist Ko Tin Win to create this album cover. Cited from Soe Thein’s မင္းမင္းလတ္ (သို႔မဟုတ္) အနာဂတ္ ကို ႀကိဳသြားခ်င္တဲ့ လူ စိုးသိဏ္း၊ ၾသဂုုတ္ ၂၆၊ ၂၀၁၃. The photo by Siddhārtha Hlaing (သုခမိန္လွိဳင္)
Dubbed Archival_Myanmar, the account, about 650 followers strong and growing, is a blend of “Burmese vintage art, music, fashion and everything” curated by creator Min Thet San.
Min Thet told Coconuts Yangon that the collection began as a hobby but he decided to create an online space to share it after a conversation with a friend.
“I started collecting by myself and started sharing on my private account’s Instagram stories. Then a friend from London told me to open a page so that everyone can see [them],” he said via chat.
His collection, not quite 40 posts yet, is an impressive review of Myanmar’s cinematic, literary, musical and political history from the early 1970s to the present day.
Among the posts, you’ll find music videos, propaganda posters from WWII and Myanmar’s military junta years, posters for rock bands, advertisements for Myanmar’s earliest films, an album cover of Myanmar’s revolutionary first rap group, and a pouting General Aung San during his training days in Japan.
Min Thet’s fascination with Myanmar’s past began with Min Min Latt, a famous singer in the 1970s, but is sustained, he says, by U Sann Aung, a famous photographer from Myanmar, who collects vintage videos of Myanmar on his YouTube channel.
“They inspire me to dig more and more [into] all this. I want to show everyone that we were so good at multimedia — the songs, the album covers, the art and everything. I want to create more awareness and community around Burmese culture,” he added.
Here’s hoping Min Thet’s efforts end up being someone else’s inspiration to keep bringing Myanmar’s history to a bigger audience.
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