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What is “Docu Athan"?

“Docu Athan" is an online platform to support Burmese creators (journalists/filmmakers/artists etc). “Athan” means “voice” “opinion” in Burmese. Viewers can donate "Athan" to fund creators to create new works.

This project was created by two Japanese former detainees in Myanmar, journalist Yuki Kitazumi and documentary filmmaker Toru Kubota. After considering what we could do to help our friends in Myanmar who are still suffering after our release, we decided to launch this project with our fellows.

In addition to introducing Myanmar works to Japan, one of the objectives of this project is to serve as a platform for many creators to gather by supporting the production of Myanmar creators.

By expanding the scope of their activities and conveying their voices from Japan, we aim to motivate them to create new works.



Yuki Kitazumi

  • さえずり
  • フェイスブック

While reporting in Myanmar after the coup, I was helped by many people. Residents who held shields in front of me to protect me from snipers while I was filming the approaching army, neighbors who informed me of suspicious people, friends who secretly filmed and informed the media of me being detained. They did all this for me because they wanted me to "share their voices with the world”.

Journalists, who are supposed to be the voices of the people, are placed in a difficult situation in Myanmar. I hope that this project will demonstrate the spirit of mutual help, which I witnessed many times among Burmese. I am very happy to be able to start this project with many fellows, supporting and working together with our friends in Myanmar. I look forward to meeting new supporters along the way.


Toru Kubota

  • さえずり
  • フェイスブック

There are people who continue to tell the reality of Myanmar from a penetrating perspective. They are the people who do not cease, even when placed in difficult situations.

On July 30, 2022, I was detained in Yangon, Myanmar, while filming a demonstration and spent three and a half months in Insein prison. I remember the political prisoners I spent together in prison, who showed me three fingers, asking me “to keep taking action for Myanmar” when I returned. In order to fulfill my promise to them, I decided to start by supporting Myanmar creators who have the same role of “conveying” as myself and to create a system that would enable them to continue their creation.

Looking back at the notes I wrote while in prison, I had written; "I wonder if I could work with Myanmar people to create a filmmaker’s network," "When I return home, I will act for Myanmar, and I mean it”. I had no idea when I would be released at that time, but I am happy now that I am free and able to make this project a reality.

Project Members

Illustration:Akira Kato

Web Design:Nanae Tsukahara, Naoya Imai

Logo Design:Toru Kubota

Adviser:Iharada Haruka

Public Relations:Kenta Usui

Losistics:Ayano Kimura, Mirei Nakayama

Translation:Riho Hayashi

DocuMeme:Naoki Uchiyama, Itaru Matsui, Toru Kubota

About Myanmar Creators

Early on the morning of February 1, 2021, the military launched a coup in Myanmar, and Aung San Suu Kyi State Counsellor and other senior government officials were arrested.

It pushed Myanmar citizens to the edge of despair, and they responded with large-scale protests numbering several million people across the country. By the end of February, students, civil servants, teachers, doctors, and other workers had taken to the streets. Among them, journalists, artists, and other creators were conspicuous.

Reporters covered the protests wearing helmets and bulletproof jackets. Filmmakers who were usually making fictional dramas, held cameras, shooting scenes of the demonstration crackdowns by the military. Artists drew pictures and sold them to support the civil servants who  participated in the general strike. Dancers performed to revolutionary songs on the back of trucks to encourage the people. Poets read poems aloud with raised voices on main street. On the internet, cartoonists and illustrators posted works with their vision of the revolution.


However, from the end of February and into March, the military embarked on large-scale repression, even using automatic rifles and rocket cannons against the people. This drove a lot of journalists and artists underground, and others escaped across the border. They continue creating even now. Many of their works speak for the people to oppose the dictatorship.

Why do they continue protesting and risking their well being? After a half century of military dictatorship, they tasted freedom in 2011 with the change to a civil administration. Then, in 2015, Aung San Suu Kyi’s National League for Democracy(NLD) won a landslide victory. 

Between 2011 and 2021, the nation saw expanded freedom of expression, and so creators experienced a new era. Daily newspapers and magazines were founded, commercial TV stations were born, and films were co-produced with creators from abroad, one after another. Artists’ works were introduced to international exhibitions opening the door to the global market. They were full of creative energy, unlike during the years under military dictatorship. 

From the memories of those ten years, creators in Myanmar experienced  the preciousness of freedom firsthand. This freedom expressed their vision of the future. As a result, they are raising their voices against the coup to get that future back.



Myanmar journalists and artists are in trouble right now. There is the film director who escaped in exile.There is the filmmaker who crossed the border chased by the fire of war.There is the photographer who kept working in the streets, even though he lost a leg in the civil war.There is the reporter who keep publishing his writings online without payment since his newspaper was suppressed.There is the animator who drew cartoons while moving from place to place to avoid the military.There is the journalist who reported on a woman who risked her life to continue to protest.There is the jailed artist who drew the truth of prison, and then successfully smuggled his sketches out.

They need your attention now. They seek places to express the truth of the coup and the people, and they need your voices of support to continue their struggle.

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