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Thomas Sanders

Writer

Location icon Myanmar

A Yangon Man

Portfolio

Journalism

MYANMORE
08/27/2019
Rangoon Rhythm: Bouhinga - MYANMORE

Bouhinga are recording in Myanm/art, a white-walled, high-ceiled art gallery in downtown Yangon. Outside, heavy rain is falling, and dirty water is bubbling up from the sewers. Occasionally, the music is interrupted by a car horn, dogs barking, or the wail of a street hawker, ambient noises par for the course in this part of the city.

Mekong Review
08/05/2019
Drowned - Mekong Review

Our journey took shape in the small hours of one morning in January. Dom, our de facto leader, had spent a week staying up until dawn, obsessively scrolling through Google maps, firing coloured pins into lakes and rivers that could be potential destinations.

MYANMORE
08/17/2019
R Zarni: History of a Rockstar - MYANMORE

Wearing a black t-shirt encrusted with a colorful sequined tiger, arms covered in sleeve tattoos, and hands bedecked with gold rings and silver bracelets, R Zarni is quiet and demure - a rockstar in the Myanmar tradition. Growing up in Yangon's Tamwe township, he has had a long journey to the heights of fame and success.

MYANMORE
07/31/2019
Dr. Anna Sui Hluan: a sit-down with Myanmar's second lady - MYANMORE

Dressed in traditional Chin textiles, a cup of tea in one hand, Anna Sui Hluan cuts a demure and impressive figure. In the refined interior of Le Planteur Restaurant & Lounge, we sat down to discuss her life, faith, and her many projects, all with the same fundamental goal - improving the lives of disadvantaged ...

Frontier Myanmar
A new martial art grips Myanmar

By TOM SANDERS | FRONTIER Two figures in white cotton suits are locked together, limbs interlaced. The only sound is heavy breathing, and the mat is soaked through with sweat. With a sudden twist, one is tossed to the ground. As he falls, he pulls his opponent forward and wraps a leg over his head.

Vietcetera
05/08/2017
Dreams, Waves and Cubs: The Rise and Fall of the Xe Ôm Driver

Director Tran Anh Hung 's 1995 film Xích Lô is widely regarded as his masterpiece. It's a seminal piece of filmmaking, presenting a lurid and picture of an under-documented stage in the country's history, beauty and ugliness both in abundance in every oversaturated frame.

Vietcetera
07/17/2017
Vanishing Spaces In Ho Chi Minh City - Vietcetera

This piece is really two things: a eulogy for three places in Saigon that will soon be gone, and a commentary on trends in the city that are emerging. Saigon does not need misty-eyed nostalgia any more than it needs sneering expat dismissal.

Vietcetera
03/09/2017
Adam Palmeter: In Stalls - Vietcetera

Adam Palmeter is a busy man. When he's not hosting open-mics, organising the Saigon Skill art showcase, or deciding which of his thousand identical NY baseball caps to wear each day, Adam makes vivid, abstract-expressionist art. Adam's newest project, In Stalls, pushes Adam's work forward not just in execution, but by a unique choice of gallery available to the fine public of Saigon.

Internationaltimes
Why Brainchild Festival Matters

In 2011, a London student started a small multi-arts festival with the aim of celebrating the contemporary UK creative scene through an event founded on principles of volunteerism, collaboration and independence. The July, over a thousand people (including four hundred collaborators) came together in the grounds of a Sussex stately home for the festival's third incarnation.

Wearerawmeat
Spit Shake Sisters | Raw Meat

Brighton three-piece Spit Shake Sisters play a messy blend of garage and psych, evoking Ty Seagall as much as the Stooges in their reverb-drenched, lo-fi sound.

Blog

Speak Weird Words
11/23/2018
Teeth

A few days ago, I had three wisdom teeth extracted from my skull. You might know this already. If I've spoken to you recently, I've probably told you. Honestly, if I've ever met you, I will have called you up and let you know. "Hey, I'm having my wisdom teeth taken out."

Speak Weird Words
01/13/2018
Choked To Death

Bangkok's traffic brings the city to a dead stop, so I step out of the cab and into a bar. Inside; low light, dirty tables, a lurid drawing of Alice in Wonderland supping tea with the Hatter, and a couple of young Thai men holding their friend, heavily flushed and clinging to a cigarette like...

Speak Weird Words
11/06/2017
Overgrowth

From here, the city looks like one big question mark, and the clouds in the sky are swollen with rain. If you listen you can hear things growing; murky water has risen to a cascade of clashing froth and white flecked foam, the golden Pagoda is all seeing and all seen, the breast of the...

Speak Weird Words
10/20/2017
Blood and Spit

Two women are playing badminton with a severely splintered shuttlecock. The light is dim, beads of sweat rise up to soak my shirt. I stumble across a makeshift barricade of barbed wire and iron, and am forced to turn back. The shuttlecock traces a parabola through the air, then skitters on the floor next to...

Speak Weird Words
10/18/2017
Counting Ribs

The same dog a dozen times, sometimes six together, sometimes kilometres apart, mewling through the streets, skin the colour of a vanilla muffin, bones that I can count through the rain-flecked window. Shower, shirt, shoes, taxi to the hotel. Yangon unfolds in front of me. The radio plays Let Me Love You, and when it...

Food and Drink

Myanmar Mix
'No need fly Korea': James Cheese lands in Yangon

Who is James Cheese? A western pilgrim who first brought cheese to the shores of Korea? Is it, perhaps a cryptic reference to our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ? One thing is clear: James Cheese is a mystery, wrapped in an enigma, wrapped in a frankly disturbing amount of cheese.

Myanmar Mix
Parasol: Ethical food, but good dishes?

Somewhere in between having mid-afternoon sex with their teenage mistresses, decapitating their aristocracy and urinating while smoking cigarettes, the French deigned to give the world the gift of their glorious culture.

Myanmar Mix
Port Autonomy: 'Escape the blackouts with Yangon's newest culinary contender'

It's the dying days of the hot season, and Yangon is gripped by rolling power-cuts. Lights shut off, fans shudder to a halt, and sweat drenched figures stagger through the streets in search of air conditioning. In the stygian darkness, your faithful writer crouches, committed to pushing out the culinary reviews that a benighted Yangon so desperately needs.

Myanmar Mix
The Pansodan: Nailing the basics in a fancy setting

From Sanchaung to Chinatown, Kandawgyi Lake to the Strand, two words are on everyone's lips. The chattering classes mutter them over espresso martinis, they are daubed on the city's walls in fresh betel spit, and even the dogs are crying them out in the summer heat.

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