In Chiang Mai? Party With a Purpose at Flood Relief Event

By FELIZ SOLOMON / THE IRRAWADDY| Thursday, August 27, 2015 |

RANGOON — For those of you in Chiang Mai, you’re well advised to spend your Friday night partying for a good cause at a fundraiser for flood relief efforts in Burma’s remote Chin State.

Featuring live music, theatrical performances, Burmese delicacies and loads of handmade goods for purchase, the event has no cover charge but organizers hope you’ll come prepared to chip in. All proceeds go directly to the Chin Committee on Emergency Relief and Rehabilitation (CCERR).

The party starts at 6pm on Friday at Sangdee Gallery, kicking off with Southeast Asia sound aficionado DJ Isherferbrains spinning soul, funk and Thai traditional Luk Thung music on 45rpm vinyl. Performances throughout the evening will include an acoustic set of traditional music from northern Burma’s Kachin State.

If you missed Erin Kamler’s musical “Land of Smiles” during its Chiang Mai debut in 2013, here’s your chance. On Friday, Kamler will perform several tracks from her acclaimed critique of anti-human trafficking efforts.

Raffle tickets will be on sale for, among other things, limited edition photographic prints by Brennan O’Connor, must-read books on Burma and unique handmade textiles donated by the Kachin Women’s Association of Thailand. Additional items will also be available for purchase.

Event organizer Sam Cartmell promises “a fun night with delicious food and entertaining musical performances,” all for a great cause.

Chin State, in northwestern Burma, was among the hardest hit by flooding related to Cyclone Komen in late July and early August. Regarded as Burma’s poorest state, many of its nearly half a million people were affected, having lost homes, crops and what few roads connected them to trade.

The mountainous region has been particularly hard to access for relief workers; the threat of landslides remains even as ravaged roads and bridges are slowly being repaired by the state government. Lack of access has led to acute food shortages in some of the more remote areas.

Proceeds from Friday’s event will be channeled through the Chin Human Rights Organization directly to the CCERR, which provides immediate humanitarian relief such as food and shelter for thousands of people affected by the crisis.

The CCERR is also involved in a statewide planning effort for long-term reconstruction, and has helped to draft a new multi-level disaster response framework to avoid future dangers for marginalized, at-risk communities.

Sangdee Gallery and Café is located at 5 Sirimankhalajarn Soi 5, Chiang Mai, Thailand. Friday’s event will run from 6 to 10pm. For those who can’t make it but would like to donate directly, please visit

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