When the coronavirus pandemic hit, Phaiwan Chala lost his job as a truck driver. When he couldn’t pay the rent for his room in Bangkok anymore, he became homeless.
It’s been over one month since the country was put under a curfew. All except a select few essential occupations are forbidden from venturing outside between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m., in a bid to prevent the spread of the virus causing COVID-19. The Isaan Record went out at night to record the atmosphere of an almost abandoned Khon Kaen city.
The Isaan Record09/05/2020
What happened to those persecuted for the burnings of provincial halls in Isaan in May 2010? We talked to Somsak Prasansap whose life fell apart after he was arrested and charged with arson of the Udon Thani provincial hall.
The Isaan Record08/05/2020
Ten years after the bloody crackdown on protesters in April-May 2010, the traumatic events are still haunting families of those killed, injured or locked away, and all the others who had watched from afar in disbelief. The Isaan Record revisits the event and its aftermath through a series of articles, interviews, short stories and videos.
The Isaan Record01/05/2020
For the past six weeks we’ve run a special series, “The Soul of Molam.” We brought you features, photo essays, interviews, and videos about the rich culture of molam and the people who live and breathe it. In this final part, we give space to our readers and some of the people we interviewed to take a look at what the series did well and what it missed out on.
The Isaan Record30/04/2020
What does the future hold for molam music? Five molam artists share their views on the state of the genre. We talked to Nattapon Siangsukon from Paradise Bangkok Molam International Band, Boonchuang Denduang, Dao Bandon, Ratri Sriwilai and Phichai Phorahomphui.
The Isaan Record29/04/2020
When Chris Beale bought a curious old vinyl record at his local record store in San Francisco ten years ago, he had no idea it would lead him to photograph Isaan’s most famed molam artists. The American photographer, who recently showed his work in Khon Kaen, talks about his current project to document molam culture in Isaan and Laos.
The Isaan Record26/04/2020
Ethnomusicologist John Garzoli talks about the ways that molam and the khaen have evolved in the past few decades and his hopes for the future of the genre.
The Isaan Record24/04/2020
The molam we know today stems from a century-old Lao tradition that is being transformed by its mingling with central Thai forms and international styles. What do we know about that original tradition? Are there khaen-playing practitioners still performing today in Isaan? John Garzoli, an ethnomusicologist looking precisely at these issues, shares his views.