Thursday, 4 February 2021

the revolution will be televised—albeit as a backdrop for an aerobics video livestream

First spotted by friend of the blog, Nag on the Lake, several days ago—we had questions and wanted to let it process a bit, unsure exactly what was going on here. After going viral and subject to the ordeal of accusations that it was faked, cheeky or somehow conspiratorial, the Physical Education teacher and trainer in Naypyitaw was interviewed about her accidental filming of the convoy of military vehicles in the background and ensuing coup d’รฉtat which was not going to interrupt her routine. There’s a lively and ongoing discussion about the veracity of the clip on the Twitter thread—with most signs indicating it is authentic—and moreover the serious underpinning discussion of the overthrow of government through military uprising parallel. The workout video was an entry to a daily competition organised and sponsored by the Ministry of Health and Sports that encourages people to record themselves doing aerobics under a certain hashtag and share to social media. A collusion of circumstances, including social distancing, afore-mentioned coup that created spotty connectivity in Myanmar’s capital throughout the day and effective news blackout, the assumption that the tanks and SUVs were added security for the opening session of parliament. To add another dimension to this strange milieu, the song, incidentally, “Ampun Bang Jago,” has become a protest anthem against the Indonesian government—the Malay sarcastically translating to “forgive me, master” and meant to mock authorities.