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Onjana Yawnghwe

We Follow The River

Episode P083 | Length: 28'
Writer, Onjana Yawnghwe
Host/Producer, Ingrid Rose
From April 22, 2024 to May 05, 2024
"I walk along a corridor in the Museum of memory" 
writes Onjana Yawnghwe.

Onjana Yawnghwe's grandfather was the last ruling head of Shan State in Myanmar, formerly known as Burma. He was the first president of unified Burma, which was set up as a hoped for democratic state. 

In 1962 the first military coup of what is now the longest running civil war in modern times saw Onjana's parents fighting in the jungles of Burma, where her older brother was born. The family fled to Thailand, where Onjana was born, and finally immigrated to Canada with nothing but a pile of suitcases on a luggage cart.

Growing up Onjana was protected from her turbulent past by her family but suffered, nevertheless, the trauma and exclusions immigrants face. As an adult she revisits her turbulent ancestral history, distilling its essence in verse.

Work in Progress

Homes: A Pictorial Archive of Memory

Onjana Yawnghwe is also an illustrator as seen in this graphic memoir; view excerpts are on her website, Onjana

Rivers of Memory and Onjana's previous book of poetry, The Small Way, were published by Caitlin Press. They can be ordered from the publisher or your favourite bookstore or online book outlet.