18 December 2022

Kongkraphan


Kongkraphan

Kongkraphan, the new album by artist and musician Pisitakun Kuantalaeng, commemorates the military’s violent suppression of red-shirt demonstrators in 2010. The titles of each of the eight tracks refer to dates on which protesters were shot by the army, and they include samples of audio recorded during the protests. The album title translates as ‘invulnerable’, a reference to the military’s impunity.

The opening track, 10/04/2010, begins with the sound of a protester on 10th April 2010 imploring the soldiers: “Why are you shooting?” The remaining seven tracks cover the final week of the conflict, from 13th to 19th May 2010, with each song representing a different day (13/5/2010, 14/05/2010, 15/05/2010, 16/05/2010, 17/05/2010, 18/05/2010, and 19/05/2010). 13/5/2010 revisits the death of Khattiya Sawasdipol, a former army officer who was shot by a sniper after he joined the red-shirts. A prolonged car horn can be heard in 15/05/2010; the driver was shot, and his head slumped onto the steering wheel, setting off the horn.

Pisitakun previously documented the final week of the massacre in a series of posters and stickers, released as a box set titled Ten Year: Thai Military Crackdown [sic] marking the tenth anniversary of the events. His album Absolute Coup was equally political, with each track named after the various institutions that he deemed responsible for laying the groundwork for Thailand’s numerous military coups.

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