It was one day before the official start of the New Year Water Festival in the former Myanmar capital of Yangon, and an illegal punk rock concert had been organized with half a dozen local hardcore bands slated to perform, act such as Kultureshock, Rebel Riot and Chaos in Burma.
Some members of the local counterculture were even accompanied by their young sons. With their dyed hair and colorful Mohawks, metal chains, and Sid Vicious t-shirts they had been turned into miniature versions of their punk fathers. Neither money nor effort had been spared to replicate the look of the original British and U.S. street punks from the 1970s and 80s, whose influence on the Myanmar variety remains immense.
The punks of Myanmar exist on the fringes of the country’s once closed society. Many continue to rebel against political injustice, speak out against the government, and protest ongoing religious intolerance. But for this night, at least, politics was to be put aside.