11 September 2023

Front Page —

Front Page - Headline

Last week, the Museum of Popular History organised an exhibition of vintage newspapers at the offices of iLaw in Bangkok. Front Page — Headline (บันทึกไว้บนหน้าหนึ่ง) was open from 3rd–8th September, and featured front pages covering historic political events such as the 14th October 1973 protest, the 2010 massacre, the 2006 and 2014 coups, Move Forward’s election victory, and the return of former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra.

A reproduction of the infamous 6th October 1976 Dao Siam (ดาวสยาม) front page was also included. For many years, there was an unspoken taboo against reprinting the page in its complete form: it was removed before the opening of Thammasat University’s exhibition commemorating the twentieth anniversary of the 1976 massacre, and did not reappear until the 2020 exhibition. Although the headline appears in พลกแผนด นประวตการเมองไทย 24 มย 2475 ถง 14 ตค 2516 (‘overturning the history of Thai politics from 23rd June 1932 to 14th October 1973’), the photograph was blacked out.

The complete Dao Siam front page was first reproduced in Sarakadee (สำรคดี) magazine (vol. 28, no. 238), though it was not included in the online version of the article. In the past few years, it has appeared in four books: Prism of Photography (ปริซึมของภาพถ่าย), 45 ปี 6 ตุลาฯ (‘45 years of 6th Oct.’), Moments of Silence, and สงครามเย็น (ใน)ระหว่าง โบว์ขาว (‘the Cold War (in)between the white bow’). Exceptionally, it was displayed on the street outside Kinjai Contemporary gallery in Bangkok last year.