Southeast Asia

Organized Panel Session

2 - Micro-Counter Spaces and Hidden Transcripts in Authoritarian Thailand

Friday, July 6
2:40 PM - 4:10 PM
Location: Silveroak I, Ground Floor

Thailand under military rule (2006-present) was faced with two coups. The staying power of the authoritarian regime triggered a series of events, especially in a conservative legal backlash between the 2006 and 2014 coup d’états. Consequently, the public sphere has shrunk and blocked expression by claiming it would threaten moral order and security. Along with suppression and the growth of digital society came the increased growth of young radical resistance. The resistance utilized films and clips as weapons to counter and contest the long military dictatorship in remarkable ways. Specifically, lots of young filmmakers or radical students produced numerous short films submitting and screening them in several Thai film festivals, and some significant groups, such as the “Resistant Citizen Group” (2014), organized the ones who would like freedom of expression suddenly after the coup. Subsequently, they also created video clips to circulate in public to counter the military regime. In particular, more than 50 short films have been produced and publicly screened offline in festivals or online in Vimeo and YouTube as a last resort for fighting. Also, Resistant Citizen Group initiated and circulated more than ten video clips loaded with their political frustration to align with their activities. Based on the James C. Scott’s (1990) concept of “Hidden Transcript” as the “ art of resistant,” this paper aims to examine these micro-counter spaces as a marginalized social agency through rational-critical discourse and politicized weapons of the weak.

Malinee Khumsupa

Chiang Mai University, Thailand

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