Hidden Words, Hidden Worlds - or H2 - is a unique, nation-wide project that uses literature as a platform to support freedom of expression, creativity and social change in Burma’s ethnic nationality states.
Over the past three years, in collaboration with the British Council sponsored Millennium Centres and ethnic culture and literature associations, local community members in the ethnic states have participated in short story construction workshops co-led by Burmese and local writers. Stories in the ethnic languages generated from these workshops were selected by the respective ethnic culture and literature associations and translated into Burmese. After a year of editing and proofreading an anthology of these new voices from the ethnic states was published in September 2015.
Titled Hidden Words, Hidden Worlds the anthology features 28 original short stories, 21 in Burmese translation, in 11 different languages and 10 distinct scripts. In what may be the biggest book launch held in Burma, over 300 people attended the celebration of the publication.
2,000 copies of the anthology have been printed, with copies being distributed for free to the ethnic states through our ethnic literature group partners and academic and community libraries in all seven states and regions to ensure everybody across the nation gets an opportunity to read this unique collection.
Working with local literary translators, 14 of the stories have now been translated into English with a possible UK publication of the first anthology of translated ethnic nationality stories from Myanmar in the near future.
Article on Hidden Words, Hidden Worlds anthology can be read here.