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What with all the trivial nonsense going on in town recently, with a certain shyster-family staging “protests” which were met by folks from the arts community pulling together, it’s important to remember that there are real people living in real places in the world where demonstrative dissent can get you killed. And there too,  it’s “the bleeding hearts and the artists” who stand up for what’s right.

Khet Mar, reading to patrons at Taylor Books Cafe, 4-15-2010

Khet Mar, reading to patrons at Taylor Books Cafe, 4-15-2010

During last Thursday’s ArtWalk, I stumbled into the cafe at Taylor Books and spent a few minutes taking in the story of Khet Mar. This is a woman who is currently living in Asylum in the United States.  In her native Burma she could be killed by the government, simply for expressing her views. You can learn more about her story at City Of Asylum/Pittsburgh, and read an interview with her here.

The video you see above presents highlights from a December 2009 event that combined jazz performances with poetry readings from exiled authors around the world. You can see Khet Mar in the video. After the jump, you’ll see another video from City Of Light/Pittsburgh, where they create art in the face of tyranny.

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