Protesters hold signs during a demonstration in Bangkok, Thailand.&nbsp;<br />
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The signs say &ldquo;There is another way, why not go?&rdquo; (L) and &ldquo;Come because the people wish it&rdquo; (R).
2022 Photo Contest, Southeast Asia and Oceania, Open Format

The Will to Remember


Charinthorn Rachurutchata

15 October, 2020

Protesters hold signs during a demonstration in Bangkok, Thailand. 

The signs say “There is another way, why not go?” (L) and “Come because the people wish it” (R).

The project juxtaposes archival images of the 6 October 1976 massacre of students at Bangkok’s Thammasat University with photographs the photographer took during the 2020-2022 Thai pro-democracy protests, in order to understand the root causes of the present-day protests.

The 6 October massacre occurred when Thai police and right-wing paramilitaries opened fire on students protesting the return of former military dictator Thanom Kittikachorn to the country. Today’s student protestors are similarly opposed to the current military dictatorship and are also calling for reform of the Thai monarchy.

Rachurutchata employs the Japanese method of kintsugi by tearing photographs, then mending them with lacquer and powdered gold. Rachurutchata uses kintsugi to symbolize the transformation of trauma into hope and the possibility of a better future.

Charinthorn Rachurutchata
About the photographer

Charinthorn Rachurutchata (1982) is a photography based visual artist who is interested in gender inequality, religious, social and political issues. She is based in Bangkok, Thailand. Throughout her career, the fundamental question of the necessity of art has underpinned Rachurutchata's work, resulting in image...

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Jury comment

This project presents a language of storytelling that attempts to foster hope through the transformation and reparation of trauma. The method of repair transcends the regional context and can be appreciated from around the world. Furthermore, it is employed with intention on both archival and contemporary images. Through this, the photographer creates a narrative thread that connects experiences of intergenerational trauma to a strong commentary on the role of authority and propaganda in a continuous and strategic historical erasure.