Filmed Ecologies: (Un)Changing Narratives of Environment, Develoment and Rurality in Thai Film


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Research Program Brown Bag Seminar - Vanessa Lamb

When: Apr 14 2011 (All day)
Where: John A. Burns Hall, Room 3012 (3rd floor), Noon - 1:00 pm

Film is increasingly used to document and share information about ecologies, development and livelihoods. Film as method also potentially provides a participatory approach to address environmental issues.

In this presentation, the striking continuities and discontinuities between two Thai films – the recent 2009 film Agrarian Utopia (Sawaan Baan Na) and the 1977 film Tongpan – will be considered. While made over 30 years apart, both films focus on the lives and livelihoods of rural farmers in the context of Thailand's economic and political development. The continuities and discontinuities between the two films speak to and raise questions about the changing and static narratives in Thai society about development, environment, and the rural-urban dichotomy.

2009. Agrarian Utopia (Sawaan Baan Na). Directed by Uruphong Raksasad.
1977. Tongpan. Directed by Euthana Mukdasanit and Surachai Jantimatorn, Produced by The Isan Film Group.

Vanessa Lamb is a doctoral candidate in the Critical Human Geography Program at York University, Toronto and is currently carrying out dissertation fieldwork while an Affiliated Researcher with the Regional Center for Social Science and Sustainable Development (RCSD) at Chiang Mai University, Thailand. Vanessa has worked in the Mekong region since 2003 and was most recently based at the Bangkok-based Foundation for Ecological Recovery/Towards Ecological Recovery and Regional Alliance (TERRA).

Primary Contact Info:
Name: Arlene Hamasaki
Phone: 808-944-7639