‘Pray for Myanmar’: Miss Universe pageant gets political

20th May, 2021

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Thuzar Wint Lwin, Myanmar’s contestant at Miss Universe in Florida, wearing a traditional costume of the Chin ethnic minority in Myanmar. Photograph: Rodrigo Varela/Getty Images

In the months leading up to the Miss Universe pageant, most contestants were busy making promotional films and rehearsing for their moment in the limelight. Thuzar Wint Lwin of Myanmar was on the streets of Yangon, protesting against the country’s brutal army. As the military used increasingly deadly force to crush rallies opposing its February coup, she visited the relatives of those who had been killed, donating her savings. Online, she raised awareness of military violence, despite the risk of retaliation.

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