The bloody crackdown on protesters in 2010 is seared into the mind of Thanat Thammakaew. For the writer, known by his pen name Phu Kradat, the traumatic events became a political awakening and a source of inspiration for his writing.
“Back in 2010, I thought the protests were taking us close to a change towards a democratic system, where everyone would be under the constitution.” “But it didn’t turn out like that. We lost. We failed,” says Thanat Thammakaew, who is known by his pen name Phu Kradat. The prolific Isaan writer reflects on the Red Shirt movement.
Artistic expression had an undisputed place in the Red Shirt movement. But little of the art of the Red Shirts has been preserved. Not only because it was destroyed by the 2010 crackdown, but also because it wasn’t seen as art in the first place, says art critic and curator Thanom Chapakdee.
The Isaan Record08/06/2020
A village in northeastern Thailand is terrorized by a powerful ghost and descends into chaos as two factions fight over how to exorcise the demon. A short story by Charuphat Petcharavej that can be read as a parable of the country’s political conflict.
“There has never been a time, no other era, where the ordinary villager has cursed the ruling class so much as now. There’s a fire burning down below and the military coup has only poured fuel onto that fire.” Teerapol Anmai speaks about the aftermath of the 2010 protests and the state’s violent response.
Ten years after the violence of 2010, the rattle of gunfire and the smoke of battle is still the mind’s eye of Teerapol Anmai, a professor at Ubon Ratchathani University’s Faculty of Liberal Arts. Back then he visited the Red Shirt protest sites which would eventually become the killing grounds for, as Teerapol puts it, “people who are seen as less than people.”
The Isaan Record05/06/2020
Duanwad Pimwana, one of the most prominent voices in contemporary Thai literature, talks about the challenges Thai literature faces in dealing with the trauma of the April-May 2010 violence.
The Isaan Record03/06/2020
“It’s no small thing. If you know that people died at the hands of the state, if you know they were shot with bullets paid for with our taxes, it’s quite a different matter than being shot by a common robber,” says Dueanwad Phimwana, author and S.E.A. Write Award winner of 2003. [VIDEO]
The Isaan Record02/06/2020
The political violence of 2010 claimed the lives of at least 94 people. Out of that number, 36 were confirmed to be from Isaan. Adithep Chanthet takes a look at the lives of five of those killed, what took them to the capital, their economic backgrounds, and their political ideas.