Thematic Updates

The production of silk is an activity often represented as being firmly anchored in timeless, intimate domestic spaces. This narrative, which emphasizes the beauty of silk and the permanence of the weaving tradition, functions to encourage the consumption of silk by tourists and urban Thais who may seek to purchase a connection to and a representation of traditional “Thai” heritage.

From the 10th to the 11th of April 2013, the SAC hosted the event, “Visualizing Culture: Ethnographic Film in Thailand and ASEAN Screening and Roundtable.” Visual anthropological methods (ethnographic film and photography) have been widely recognized as important tools for the documentation and promotion of cultural diversity. Apart from documenting cultural practices that are changing or disappearing in the region, audiovisual documentation of culture can serve as a means to promote mutual understanding across ASEAN’s national borders.

From May 30 to June 3, researchers from the Ethnic Groups Network project and the Ethnic Groups in Thailand Database traveled to Koh Lanta and Koh Jam, two islands in Krabi province that are home to many Urak Lawoi’ communities.

The Dek Ant: Youth Activities project team has spent the past few months training youth to make documentary films all over Thailand. Their first training of the year, however, occurred in a community minutes away from the SAC at Wat Champa in Taling Chan district, Bangkok. At this new site, the team initiated activities related to what they are calling the “Taling Chan Model,” which is a plan for integrating film, local knowledge, and other media into digital “Community Archives.”