• Wednesday, March 07, 2007

    Bangkok photo exhibition, southern beheading and murdered Russian girls....

    Downtown Bangkok, from Pan Road

    Took the daughter to the Kathmandu Photo Gallery on Pan Road, off Silom, this afternoon. They have a small exhibition on the first floor called Imagine the Sky.

    The exhibition is by a well known Thai human rights campaigner and one time senator called Kraisak Choonhaven. One of the many things he's campaigned for, other than human rights, is for Thai people to take their country more seriously and try to preserve it in the face of brash excessive consumerism.

    Anyone who has visited Thailand, and especially Bangkok, can't have failed to notice that the skyline is littered with enormous billboards. The Imagine the Sky exhibition is a series of pictures taken by Kraisak showing scenes of giant advertising boards. Beneath each picture is the same picture again but with the offending visual atrocities airbrushed out and replaced with trees or sky. The effect is quite stunning. His point being that the country is being rubbished for the sake of a few advertising dollars.

    There was a big piece about Kraisak in the Outlook section of the Bangkok Post today. He sounds like a really interesting guy who is very vocal about human rights abuses in Thailand, specifically in the south under Taksin, treatment of elephants, continuing destruction of Thailand's most beautiful areas in favour of unchecked development, and the obsessive consumerism of the financial haves in Thailand whilst so many of the have nots go hungry and ignored. I don't think I've been so interested in a Thai person since discovering the late Kukrit Pramoj just before he popped is clogs back in the 90's.

    The 25th beheading has taken place in the south today. That's 25 people beheaded since 2004. It's a real shame that this continues to happen, a senseless waste of life. Sadly this never seems to make the headlines outside of Thailand, maybe if it did get more international attention there would a greater effort to prevent it or find a lasting solution. The Bangkok Post listed all the beheadings here. It makes for seriously gruesome reading.

    The acting Chief of police in Pattaya is tackling crime head on. Convinced that the murdered Russian girls story has more to it than meets the eye he's demanding more arrests. Since stating this there have been two more arrests and he wants more still. Investigations are now looking into the lives of the girls and their backgrounds to try and establish if they had any connections here in Thailand. not sure what to make of this. Is it a commendable effort to tackle the well documented gang criminality of Pattaya or the beginning of blame shift towards the victims? Cynical as ever!

    Bangkok photo exhibition, southern beheading and murdered Russian girls....

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