three finger salute

Two people in red shirt hold up the Burmese protest three finger salute

Catch the premiere of three finger salute on July 22 at Tiger Strikes Asteroid-NY! 

Photo by Ashley Smith/Wide Eyed Studios

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three finger salute is an interactive public education performance inspired by and honoring pro-democracy protests and uprisings in Myanmar, Hong Kong, China, and across Southeast Asia. The performance uses non-verbal protest gesture as choreography drawing on activist gesture from many regions: Hong Kong protesters’ sign language used to distribute supplies during street actions, Myanmar’s anti-authoritarian three finger salute, and Chinese protesters’ holding blank A4 sheets of paper to symbolize dissent. three finger salute spotlights how protesters are challenging and resisting authoritarianism in innovative ways that subvert surveillance and crackdown.


Open studio showing at CEC Arts residency in Philadelphia

Researching and learning protest gestures, co-choreographers zavé martohardjono and Andrew Suseno created three finger salute’s choreographic lexicon which, with Kristel Baldoz, they perform and transmit to audiences. Through dance, the artists tell stories of resistance from Asian political movements and highlight the power and resiliency of non-verbal gestures developed by people fighting for liberation amidst surveillance, right wing extremism and anti-protest crackdowns. To honor the political context of Myanmar, zavé and Andrew’s research included interviewing a Kachin-American activist and speaking with filmmakers documenting current organizing in Myanmar.

Open studio excerpt from Spring 2023

Co-created and performed by Austronesian and Southeast Asian artists who live and grew up in North America, three finger salute considers current political suppression the artists are witnessing growing in the U.S.: from right wing censorship and book bans aimed at stripping social justice out of education to mounting mass arrests and incarceration of Black Lives Matter protest organizers in the aftermath of the 2014 Ferguson and 2020 Minneapolis uprisings. Drawing on the resilience of youth-led protests across Asia and the global digital networks they use to share tactics and learn strategies across borders, three finger salute considers parallels and potentials for global movement building as authoritarianism roots and spreads across the globe. 

In workshops and in the July 2023 premiere, Andrew, zavé and Kristel transmit political history through gesture, dance, simulated activist trainings, and conversation with audiences about protest culture, resilience technologies, and community organizing in Asia and the U.S.

Creative Team

Choreographers: zavé martohardjono & Andrew Suseno
Performers: zavé martohardjono, Andrew Suseno, Kristel Baldoz
Producer: Maya Simone Z.

• November 3, 2022

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