Whitewash by Harit Srikhao.
Harit has impressed Gomma Grant jury with his visionary take on the Thai Protest and its military crackdown that took place in 2010.
What started as a naive photographic documentary of what was happening around him, his friends and schoolmates during the protest, later on further developed into a multilayered work.
With the usage of collage, cutting and intervening directly onto the negatives and prints, he assembled an impressive, chimerical essay that testifies these series of tragic events through his personal experience.
"Summer 2010. Bangkok. School vacation.
The atmosphere of political violence in Thailand continuously heated up, and my friends and I were unable to go home.
We all stayed together at a friend's house. We only received information from the military, which made us curse the protestors feverishly and watch them getting beaten up with great satisfaction.
Then, in 2014, the thirteenth coup d'etat took place in Thailand. The country has been ruled by the military regime ever since. I began researching deeper about the country's political history. I found that in 2010, the crackdown resulted in over 90 deaths, and General Prayuth Chan-ocha, leader of the National Council for Peace and Order (the military junta), was among the commanders. Although the death toll of this incident remains the highest in Thai history, none of the victims has received any justice from the law.
This work explores the process of mental surgery conducted onto the citizens, the images of this series were driven by the cold-blooded responses that I and other people around me had towards the protestors back then.
Five years have passed and I've only started to perceive what actually really happened and understanding the protestors' views and accept them as fellow human beings.
The fact that people in the country remained ignorant, indifferent, and even satisfied towards
the protestors' deaths reflects the chilling darkness of nationalism."HS
Whitewash. Shot in 2010. Edited 2015-2016. Thailand.
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