For years, one of Myanmar’s most popular bands worked in fear of an authoritarian military government, using metaphor and symbolism to convey their subtly subversive message. Now they are pushing ever harder for freedom of expression

The lead singer of one of Myanmar’s most popular bands has spent his life songwriting in code.

Having formed indie/post-punk group Side Effect with three friends in 2004, under a military dictatorship, Darko C had to be scrupulously careful not to offend the generals. Every form of popular culture was vetted and controlled at the time, and dissident artists of all kinds featured among the pariah state’s vast cohort of political prisoners.

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