ALTSEAN Burma developed the Mandalay project which involved a two-day workshop in Pyin Oo Lwin, Myanmar, to address hate speech and incitement in Myanmar. The workshop was targeted at youth and women activists, and participants were trained on the various forms of strategies that might be employed to counter hate speech.

People were schooled on typologies of hate speech, then trained to shoot and edit short videos for social media (as one example of prevention). The group also formulated a “code of conduct” in relation to hate speech that politicians could adopt in the lead up to the 2020 general elections in Myanmar. Participants also undertook a number of creative exercises—painting, drawing, or writing jokes, memes, songs and short stories designed to be shared online and resonate with local Burmese humour. Throughout the activity the workshop was designed to give participants the opportunity to have fun and approach an emotionally complex and potentially triggering activity in a safe, creative and accessible space. The workshop also designed a series of “Love Lotus” stickers meant for distribution, some of which were taken by APPAP member Research Initiatives Bangladesh (RIB) to the Rohingya refugee camps and distributed there.