Juliana Choquette-Lelarge is based in Quebec in Canada, and holds a bachelor’s degree in theatrical studies and sociology, as well as a certificate in creative writing.
“Myanmar is a fascinating country. While living there in 2018, working as an assistant on a
research project on the military junta, I came across so many wonders, curiosities and unique
cultural gems that I couldn’t help but fall in love with this country and its people. Stuck between
a heavy recent history, plagued by conflict and authoritarianism, and a still-so-uncertain future,
Myanmar’s society has shaped itself around a very structuring principle: resilience.
Because of the hardships so many endured and the necessity to, well, keep on living, the general population acquired a sense of tenacity, a profound wish to maintain active communal life in the midst of an endemic climate of violence. Despite enduring rampant sexism (even though feminist movements are on the rise!), women, particularly, remain crucial keepers of peaceful coexistence in domestic life but also in social and civil life.
This comic is an attempt to cast light on the strength of those women I encountered and to reflect on the symbolic importance of the market as a feminine place of belonging (and coincidentally – or not so much – one of the most important physical spaces in Myanmar society). It is a way to document social practices but mostly, to honour Burmese resilience against the adversities that left a discrete but palpable mark in every part of people’s daily life. I chose to include myself in the comic to acknowledge my place as an observer from the outside, to humbly recognise my inability to fully understand the practices and norms but also to illustrate the immense generosity and openness that the people of Myanmar has shown toward me as a foreigner.”