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Punk, protest and secret shows sing 'truth to power' in Myanmar

Music offers continuing resistance to nation's military machine

Punk rock trailblazer Kyaw Kyaw lets loose at The Rebel Riot's 15-year-anniversary show in Yangon. "If you're a photographer, musician or artist and you're given a gun ... maybe you are useless," says the singer. "But if you're an artist, you can be yourself and create positive change." (Photo by Kaung Kaung)

YANGON, Myanmar -- The band onstage breaks into a crunching distorted riff, with clattering drums and spittle-flecked screams. The mosh pit erupts into a writhing mass of colliding, headbanging, sweaty bodies. A heavily tattooed bare-chested punk with a bleached yellow mohawk mounts the stage and dives into the swarming crowd.

Between barrages, Kyaw Kyaw, lead singer of Burmese punk rock trailblazers The Rebel Riot, which is celebrating its 15-year anniversary, addresses the crowd: "Their coup cannot stop us! They cannot stop our art, our revolution. F--- the military!"

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