A Million Dreams
The coronavirus has changed the world. We feel it every day. Southeast & East Asia have been hard-hit by the pandemic – physically and politically. Autocratic leaders in Cambodia, Thailand, Philippines, and Myanmar have taken advantage of the situation by suppressing democracy instead of containing the virus. China continues to exercise its muscles to assert geopolitical dominance, Hong Kong being the first casualty.
It’s a grim picture. Freedom House reported that democracy has been in decline for 15 consecutive years. According to The Economist Intelligence Unit, the pandemic caused an unprecedented rollback of democratic freedoms in 2020.
As desolate it sounds, being the liberals we are, we find opportunities in challenges. In this annual report, we feature young music artists from Myanmar who found their voice in these troubled times. They are the top artists in our Living Freedom Songwriting Contest, a regional competition organized by FNF, that translated freedom of expression into songs. These artists share their aspirations with us – a million dreams they say, through their music. Among those dreams are truth, progress, and the freedom, which we at FNF, along with our partners, always strive to preserve.
The term infodemic was coined in this period of Covid-19. To counter this, we rolled out a number of media literacy programs under FNF’s international campaign #FreedomFightsFake. Economic setback dominated headlines. We tried to assuage fears of a long-term catastrophe by highlighting that multilateralism is key – while at the same time urging the prioritization of efforts to contain the virus.
Freedom House reported that democracy has been in decline for 15 consecutive years. According to The Economist Intelligence Unit, the pandemic caused an unprecedented rollback of democratic freedoms in 2020. As desolate it sounds, being the liberals we are, we find opportunities in challenges.
We shifted gears to adapt to new working conditions – holding webinars as a space for dialogue, and creating a community of online advocates. We refashioned our teaching tools: FNF Thailand’s board and card games are now available online, and we have an interactive web game on anti-disinformation. We also introduced new programs that employ the latest technology to keep our network connected: a virtual exhibit where the attendees joined as avatars, and a virtual run that covered a total distance of 992 kilometers. Several projects are presented in this annual report, which is also a reflection of how hard colleagues and partners worked. I thank all of them for their dedication.
Our activities are our attempt to contribute to the realization of our young artists’ dreams. In 2021, as we try to start anew, we’ll double down on hope and action. For freedom.
Read the full report here -