Based on a famous Thai legend that has inspired movies since the silent era (not to mention plays, TV shows, comic books and even an opera), Nang Nak is, according to some, a true story illustrating the dangers of earthly attachments. It is so deeply rooted in Thai culture that to this day a shrine to its tragic heroine still exists in Bangkok. In it, a soldier goes to war, leaving behind his pregnant wife. After nearly dying in battle, he returns home to his wife and newborn son. The problem is, he’s the only one in town who doesn’t know they are both ghosts. Set in a lush jungle village, Nonzee Nimbutr’s elegant, hauntingly beautiful adaptation is the most acclaimed cinematic expression of this heartbreaking tale.
HBO Asia’s miniseries Folklore presented tales of the supernatural from six Asian countries, based on each region’s traditional legends. One standout was Thailand’s entry, directed by acclaimed filmmaker Pen-ek Ratanaurang (Last Life in the Universe, Headshot), who visited the Freer for a retrospective in 2014. Ratanaurang takes on the myth of the pob, a ghost known for devouring human intestines. When an American corporate executive is found murdered, a photojournalist covers the story, only to find himself meeting the pob who committed the crime and now wants to tell its side of the story. Shot in rich black and white tones, this film mixes horror and humor with a touch of politics. One of the the pob’s beefs, it turns out, is that the arrogant American refused to believe in ghosts.
18th New York Asian Film Festival Presents: The Pool
A nap on a rubber raft in a twenty foot deep swimming pool turns into a nightmare for a young couple after an unfortunate series of events puts their lives in danger. Filled with dark humor, nail biting thrills and seething with emotional turbulence, writer-director Ping Lumpraploeng’s film turns a seemingly mundane situation into an existential obstacle course as the protagonists face the greatest challenge of their lives. With a surprising element of suspense and metaphoric resonance, The Pool brings a fresh new style of thriller to Thailand.
The mission of the New York Southeast Asia Network (NYSEAN) is to promote research on, and awareness of, Southeast Asia. Toward that end, NYSEAN has established the Partners Fund to foster collaboration among academics, artists, policymakers and other professionals working on contemporary Southeast Asia. To promote such cooperation, the NYSEAN Partners Fund is issuing a call for proposals aimed at funding conferences, small workshops, panel discussions, exhibitions, art installations or performances that address historical or contemporary issues in Southeast Asia and/or U.S.-Southeast Asia relations.
Proposals should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org by May 31, 2019.
In cooperation with the Thai Community in New York and the New York City, the Royal Thai Consulate General in New York will host and celebrate the Thai New Year Festival on both April 20th and April 27th, 2019 at 75th - 77th Street and Woodside Ave, Queens, New York. The official opening of the event will be on Saturday, April 20, 2019 between 1-2pm.
It is a free family fun event! Please come to try Thai food, watch a Muay Thai demonstration, experience traditional music and dance, tourism, and other interactive activities with the Thai Community in New York and the New York City Public Office, such as NYPD and FDNY.
An impressive feature directorial debut by veteran cinematographer Phuttiphong Aroonpheng, this mysterious, intoxicating work centers on the friendship between a fisherman and the mute refugee he rescues from a swamp. After the fisherman disappears at sea, the refugee’s mourning is interrupted by the return of the fisherman’s ex-wife, and sure enough, the past bleeds inexorably into the present. A visionary take on the refugee parable, in which mystical elements disrupt the drudgery of everyday life, Manta Ray won the Orizzonti Prize at last year’s Venice Film Festival. U.S. Premiere.
Location and Time:
Lincoln Center Walter Reade Theater | March 29, 2019 - 9:00PM
The Museum of Modern Art, Floor T2, Theater 2 | March 30, 2019 - 3:15PM
For more information click here.
Museum of Modern Arts
Thailand has made great strides in education, achieving near 100% primary enrollment and a 98% youth literacy rate. Yet one third of ethnic minority teens are still illiterate in Thai, despite 6-8 years of schooling. The problem is most acute in the Deep South, among Patani Malay speaking youth. The Deep South is also the scene of a long-standing insurgency, pitting Patani Malay Muslim separatists against the Thai Buddhist state. Since 2004, over 7000 have died, including 180 teachers—some killed in front of their students—as the insurgency views the Thai education system as a threat to Islam and the Patani Malay language/culture.Since 2006, linguists from Mahidol University have cooperated with UNICEF Thailand and the Patani Malay community to pioneer mother tongue based multilingual education for children in grades K-6. The results have been overwhelmingly positive; the program received both the 2016 UNESCO King Sejong Literacy Award and the 2017 UNESCO Wenhui Award for Innovation in the Professional Development of Teachers (honorable commendation). This lecture will examine the structure of the programme, detail student and community assessment methods employed, and discuss the implications for education and peace building in Thailand and beyond. Full copies of UNICEF Thailand’s just-published project documentation (175 pages) will be available free of charge in limited quantities.
Kirk R. Person, Ph.D. (University of Texas, Arlington) came to Thailand in 1988 as a volunteer English teacher—and stayed! He works with SIL International, an NGO focused on minority language issues. He has conducted linguistic fieldwork in Thailand, Myanmar, and China (PRC), taught graduate linguistics courses at several Thai universities, represented SIL International to the Asia-Pacific Multilingual Education Working Group (hosted by UNESCO-Bangkok), served on the Royal Institute of Thailand’s National Language Policy Drafting Committee, and contributed to the British Academy’s language policy recommendations for Myanmar.
Hosted by Columbia University Teacher’s College.
NYC PREMIERE Acclaimed at Telluride and the Toronto International Film Festival, this suspenseful high-seas adventure follows a team of activists who rescue modern-day slaves in Thailand’s illegal fishing industry. Thai activist Patima Tungpuchayakul was nominated for the Nobel Prize for her work rescuing thousands of victims. We follow her as she tracks down escaped slaves who live like Robinson Crusoe on remote islands, helping to bring these long-vanished ghosts back to life and to their families.
Find more information here.
Hosted by DOC NYC.
Bangkok-based journalist Patrick Winn will explain why Southeast Asian organized crime is entering a golden age—and argue that we should see the humanity in people engaged in black markets. Patrick Winn's book: Hello, Shadowlands: Inside Southeast Asia's Organized Crimewave will be available for purchase.
Owners of the Map, a study of Bangkok through an ethnographic study of motorcycle taxi drivers, advances an analysis of space and power that is of interest to both social research and design. In 2010, thousands of Red Shirts protesters took over the commercial center of Bangkok to demand democratic elections and an end to inequality. Key to this mobilization were motorcycle taxi drivers, who slowed down, filtered, and severed mobility in the area, claiming a prominent role in national politics and ownership over the city and challenging state hegemony. Claudio Sopranzetti will speak at this event, with Duncan McCargo moderating.
Hosted by NYSEAN and Weatherhead East Asian Institute.
In 2012, Duncan McCargo (Columbia) and Ayse Zarakol (Cambridge) published an article in the Journal of Democracy entitled “Turkey and Thailand: Unlikely Twins.” The article highlighted striking similarities in the history and politics of two nations at opposite ends of ‘Asia’ (broadly imagined), and raised critical questions about issues such urban-rural divides, national myths, the role of the military, and trends towards authoritarianism. Since then, much has happened to confirm and to qualify their arguments: Thailand experienced a military coup in May 2014, while there was an unsuccessful coup attempt in Turkey two years later. In this seminar, the two authors will revisit their analysis and debate the significance of subsequent developments for understanding this apparent parallelism.
Find more information here.
Hosted by Weatherhead East Asian Institute and Sakip Sabanci Center for Turkish Studies at Columbia University.
Lecture by Pavin Chachavalpongpun, followed by Q&A facilitated by Christopher Ankersen.
Two events — the coup of 2014 and the royal succession unveiled the volatility of the Thai political system, and in many ways — the realm of foreign affairs. Thai foreign policy is traditionally shaped by the changing international environment. In the current political context, the coup of 2014 has exacerbated the political conflict and powerfully prescribed the way in which the country pursued its relations with the outside world. Chachavalpongpun argues that the changing international circumstances allow the military regime to entrench itself in the political realm and to exploit the latest global trend to achieve self-legitimization.