Win Maw receives Freedom to Create Imprisoned Artist Prize
Burma’s famous musician and human rights activist Win Maw received the 2011 Freedom to Create Imprisoned Artist Prize in absentia.
Launched in 2008, the Freedom to Create Prize is a celebration of the courage and creativity of artists, and the positive influence of their work to promote social justice and inspire the human spirit. The Prize is open to all forms of art, in any creative field and to any individual or group of any gender, religion or nationality. A total prize fund of US$ 100,000 is awarded to the winning artists and their nominated advocacy organisations to further the cause their artwork has highlighted. In 2011, Freedom to Create received over 2,000 prize entries from more than 145 countries around the globe.
Win May has been imprisoned in Myanmar (formerly Burma) since 2008. In 2009 he was sentenced to further ten years imprisonment – an addition to the eight year sentence he received in 2008. He was beaten and tortured during the early stages of his detention, accused of being the mastermind behind the in-country news coverage of the September 2007 monk-led uprising.
Win Maw contributed his musical talent to the award winning documentary ‘Burma VJ’. He expresses the political views of the Burmese people with his music, which provides a rallying point for the masses during the numerous political upheavals in Myanmar. He is a leading exponent of artists giving voice to democratic movements for social change. Despite the risks to his personal safety, Win Maw continues to inspire young artists with his music even from prison.