12 October 2023

50 ปี 14 ตุลา
(‘50 years of 14th Oct.:
what colour world do you dream of?’)

This year marks the fiftieth anniversary of the 14th October 1973 demonstration, when 500,000 people rallied at Bangkok’s Democracy Monument calling for a new constitution and an end to Thanom Kittikachorn’s dictatorial rule. The protest was successful, as Thanom was dismissed as prime minister and sent into exile—leading to a three-year period of democracy—though the military shot and killed seventy-seven protesters.

Commemorations of the massacre are surprisingly understated, despite the historic fiftieth anniversary. A commemorative exhibition earlier in the year contained no references to the incident. There is an exhibition of political billboards at Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, albeit on a small scale. Most lamentably, there is an even smaller display of photocopied pages—from The Ten Days (วันมหาวิปโยค)— outside the 14 October 73 Memorial. The most substantial event is a series of film screenings at the Thai Film Archive in Salaya.

Another compact exhibition commemorating the anniversary opened today at Queen Sirikit National Convention Center. Organised by the publisher of Matichon (มติชน), 50 ปี 14 ตุลา เจ้าฝันถึงโลกสีใด (‘50 years of 14th Oct.: what colour world do you dream of?’) features a display of books, notably บันทึกลับจากทุ่งใหญ่ (‘secret notes on Thung Yai’), which exposed military corruption in the months before the protests. The exhibition also includes a monitor screening the documentary อนุทินวีรชน 14 ตุลาคม (‘diary of 14th October heroes’).

The documentary will also be shown at the Thai Film Archive, on 14th October. The exhibition at QSNCC runs until 23rd October, to coincide with Book Expo Thailand 2023. The exhibition brochure folds out into a small poster with a black-and-white photo of protesters at Democracy Monument on the day before the massacre.

Matichon also launched a new book about the events of October 1973 at the Book Expo today. ข้างหลังภาพ 14 ตุลาฯ: จากระบอบปฏิวัติของเผด็จการสู่การปฏิวัติของประชาชน (‘behind the image of 14th Oct.: from the dictatorship’s revolutionary regime to the people’s revolution’), by Pandit Chanrochanakit, includes reproductions of newspaper headlines and paintings related to the protests, and provides context on the political climate in the years before the massacre.

1 comment(s):

Matthew Hunt said...

Matichon: https://www.matichon.co.th/prachachuen/news_4228610

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