Compelled and moved by my country’s political turmoil and divide in 2014, I began photographing the protests in my home city, Bangkok. The "Thai Upraising" project was a blend of street photography, portraiture and interviews to give me a deeper understandings of the protestors. The project created for IPA Mentorship Earlier that year.
A street merchant came to Lumpini park to demonstrate his rights against the government’s corruptions.
Worked for the government by day and protested against it by night, Mr. Thongchai came to protesting since the very beginning of the anti-government movement. Almost everyday from 5pm to 10pm he waved Thai flag sky-high hoping for the better tomorrow for Thailand. He said he had seen corruptions daily in his work that he just can’t do nothing.
A tattoo artist from Sri Thammarat provence, Ajarn Thep hit the street of Bangkok on February 2014 hoping to voice out his anger against the corruptions by the Thai politicians. Not accustomed to not work, Ajarn Thep offered a low cost religious and spiritual tattoos to protesters for increasing morales as well as raising funds to help PDRC.
Free haircut was available for any anti-government supporters. The barbers charity acts were their way of supporting his political believes.
Mark, American from Chicago married Thai wife and have been coming to protest many times. His wife and him believe reform against corruption is necessary and important for Thailand future.
Travel all the way from Lopburi, this buddhist monk pack his belongings and set forth to the street of Bangkok to protest against the red shirt (pro government) with PDRC. As a monk he tried his best to let go of worldly matters but he lost self control when he had repeatedly learnt about all the corruptions that took place under Yingluck’s leadership.
Surachai, an business owner from the Chainart Province, came to protest with PDRC every evening when he came to Bangkok.
Chayanin’s Facebook page is named “ลูกสาววีรชน” which translate to “Daughter of a Patriot”. Her father, Suphot Boonroong was shot in the head by the unidentify side and bleed to death while protesting with PDRC at Rachadamneon Road on February 18th, 2014. His death was captured on VDO and the clip went viral online which provoked an even stronger support against the government. He was 52 years old.
Sombat worked as god of Monkey (行者) at one of a Chinese temple downtown. He often came to join the protest straight after work without changing his costume. He also acted out in public as his role to support anti-government movement.
Known to public as “Auntie Pancake”, she was a leader of rice farmers from Nakhon Ratchasima. Not a stranger to public speaking, she appeared on PDRC stage many times to rally rice farmers who financially suffered from Yingluck’s rice campaign to come to protest in Bangkok. Traditionally rice farmers would not want to be seen with PDRC because they had always been supporting Thaksin’s and Yingluck’s politically. However, since end of 2013, farmers had given their hard earn harvests to the government hoping for a payout but all they got in return were rice receipts and a big promise to pay soon. In the end the farmers did not get paid by the government. After seizing power, the junta released payments and announced that five trillion baht plus three millions ton of rice was lost from Yingluck’s campaign.
Bang Lep and his wife resided in Hat Yai, a city in southern Thailand. His two daughters stayed with his relatives in Bangkok and went to school here. Bang Lep and his wife started to participate in this anti-government movement since November 2013. They would came up to Bangkok on Friday and spent weekend protesting and sleeping on the street with the two girls. “I want a better government for a better future for my kids so we need to fight against such corrupted politicians.”
Ms. Pim a southern born muslim and her friends came to support the PDRC with colorful bright coordinated outfits.
Right after a 6 hours train ride from Chumphon, a southern provence of Thailand, K Tui and friends arrived Bangkok late afternoon. With her was an envelop filled with donation from people in her village of Sawee district. The sole purpose of coming all the way to Bangkok was to give this donation to support K Suthep, the PDRC leader,in the anti-government movement.
Kai Nui was a monkey who normally lived with his master in Surat Thani. He helped his master picking coconut as well as performing on stage in front of visitors. He and his master came to Bangkok since November and had been protesting against corruption of this Thaksin’s government everyday.