Category: Art


Thailand is among the world’s most dangerous countries in which to oppose powerful interests that profit from coal plants, toxic waste dumping, land grabs or illegal logging. Some 60 people who spoke out on these issues have been killed over the past 20 years, although few perpetrators have been prosecuted in a culture in which powerful people have the last word and professional killers are easy to find.

A 2014 report by the environmental watchdog group Global Witness ranked Thailand as the eighth most dangerous country in which to defend land and environmental rights. It is the second most dangerous country in Asia, after the Philippines.

The killings often involve small-scale conflicts in remote areas, and issues that might seem too narrow to carry assassination as a penalty. Few of them have received national coverage, and few of the names of those killed are widely known.

Portraits of 37 of these largely obscure victims comprise a new project by the Bangkok-based photographer Luke Duggleby and were exhibited this month in Geneva, timed to coincide with a United Nations Human Rights Council review of Thailand’s human rights record.

“It is vital, for the victims and the families, that their fight and their death should not be forgotten and left unrecognized,” Mr. Duggleby said in a statement accompanying his portfolio.

The question was how to present them. The victims were dead, or in a few cases had been abducted and disappeared. The only records in some cases were in the memories of families and in the portraits they kept of their relatives, sometimes in a frame on the wall, sometimes at a Buddhist altar.

It was these photographs that inspired the concept of his project: to place and photograph a portrait of the victim at the site of the murder or abduction. The result is a surprisingly moving set of photographs, mostly expressionless faces in formal photographs looking out from a field, a forest or rubber plantation or a roadside. In one case, the family had only an identification card picture, so Mr. Duggleby photographed and printed it to place at the scene.

The silent portraits, looking small and vulnerable in their settings, seem like tiny, passive missives from the victims, looking back at the viewer from the scene of their last terrifying moments.

In this way, in a very different context and with a very different aesthetic, they share a hollow resonance with the well-known black-and-white portraits of the dead that cover the walls of Tuol Sleng in Cambodia, the former prison where thousands of people were photographed before being tortured and killed.

Tallying the disparate, barely reported killings in Thailand has been difficult, and the first comprehensive list has only recently been compiled by Protection International, a human rights nongovernmental organization. One of its members, Pranom Somwong, worked with Mr. Duggleby in researching many of the cases.

For more than a year, Mr. Duggleby, who speaks fluent Thai, traveled with a Thai assistant throughout the country, covering by his calculation 10,000 kilometers, or more than 6,000 miles. He said he took great care not to endanger people or to make a situation worse.

Some of the disputes and threats remained real; in some cases other people had stepped forward to continue the resistance. One victim, for example, Chai Boonthonglek, 61, who was shot dead on Feb. 11, 2015, was the fourth member of his community to be murdered in five years during a dispute over land rights with a palm-oil company.

“The most important thing was the safety of the villagers,” Mr. Duggleby said. “We made our presence very quiet and very quick. I’d talk to them, spend a few hours with them, finish and drive on to the next place.”

Source: Murdered After Defending Thailand’s Environment – The New York Times

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Police have released CCTV images of a man after a 13-year-old girl spotted someone taking a photo of her in a toilet cubicle.

The teenager was in the facility at a McDonald’s in Oxford Road, Reading, Berkshire, when she heard the click of a mobile phone camera.

She looked up and saw the top of someone’s head over the cubicle wall.

Police said the child has been left “very upset” by the incident which happened at about 9.05pm on 20 May.

Detective Constable Alastair Bagshaw, of Thames Valley Police, said the girl and her family are concerned about where the image may end up.

He said: “I am keen to identify the person responsible as quickly as possible and would ask anyone that recognises him to contact me immediately.”

The incident is being treated by officers as an exposure and voyeurism offence.

Anyone with information can call police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Source: Man Wanted After Girl Photographed In Toilet

illma-gore

Today I was punched in the face by a man who got out of his car and yelled, “Trump 2016!” in Los Angeles, just days after I returned home from London and just down the road from my house. Though I encourage passion, opinion and emotion, especially though art, I think violence is disgusting.

To live in a place where Facebook has given my address to an anonymous third party makes me feel like I am homeless again. This type of violence makes creatives feel like we live in a world where our individual creative input isn’t safe.

I am sad that this is the state of our America right now. I am sad that Trump, and many of his supporters, don’t find words enough to express their opinions – they need walls, waterboarding and punches. @realdonaldtrump,Please stop glamorizing and perpetuating violence. Make America Decent Again! ‪#‎makeamericadecentagain‬

No, they have not been caught, and the men drove off laughing. A detailed police report has been filed.

The story of my 18 inkings – and why I’m now getting rid of most of them

Tass Cambitzi has been tattooed 18 times, but is now undergoing painful laser removal.

She has struggled to find value and self-worth all her life, but believes this will be easier without tattoos.

“I want to start again,” she says. “I want nothingness.”

Source: BBC News – Undrawing my tattoos

Including “I am a stupid c*nt.  Illma Gore is committed to her project.

Illma Gore is a street artist who’s endeavoring to cover her entire body in other people’s names and designs.

Earlier this year, Illma uprooted a Kickstarter campaign to fund an art project that “uses [her]self as a canvas” by “filling [her] body, head to toe, in the names, stories, and pictures of others.”

For $10, you could get your name, or any idea your mind could muster, tattooed onto her body. She exceeded her $6,000 goal with a pledge of over $11,000.

She’s now started the tedious tattooing process.

Source: This Artist Got Over 200 Tattoos Of Strangers’ Names And Designs – Linkis.com

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