Episode 1 – Thailand’s Forbidden Photograph

In the inaugural episode of The Ask: Professor Thongchai Winichakul, Professor Clare Veal and journalist Teirra Kamolvattanavith come together to assess the history and consequences of the Thammasat University massacre through the lens of a Pulitzer prize winning photograph – and beyond.

Our Episode Guests:

Professor Thongchai Winichakul, Professor Emeritus, Department of History. University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Professor Thongchai Winichakul’sbook, Siam Mapped (1994) was awarded the Harry J. Benda Prize from the Association for Asian Studies (USA) and the Grand Prize from the Asian Affairs Research Council (Japan). Professor Winichakul was a recipient of the John Simon Guggenheim Award in 1994 and elected the President of the Association for Asian Studies in 2013/14.

His research interests are in cultural and intellectual history of Siam including nationalism, modern geography and cartography, and historical knowledge, especially the intellectual foundation of modern Siam (1880 to 1930). He has published eight books and several articles in Thai, including many political and social commentaries.

This past March, 2020  Professor Winichakul published his latest book, titled Moments of Silence: The Unforgetting of the October 6, 1976, Massacre in Bangkok.

In this book he explores a 40 year old massacre (that he survived) ―its victims and how the Thai people coped when closure was unavailable in the wake of atrocity. Most of all, this provocative book makes clear the need to provide a place for past wrongs in the public memory. Please visit this link to preview this book and get your own copy in a number of formats:

Moments of Silence: The Unforgetting of the October 6, 1976, Massacre in Bangkok

Professor Clare Veal. Lecturer, MA Asian Art Histories, LaSalle College of the Arts.

A lecturer in the MA Asian Art Histories programme at LASALLE College of the Arts, Singapore, Clare received her PhD from the Department of Art History and Film Studies at the University of Sydney for her thesis entitled, ‘Thainess Framed: Photography and Thai Identity, 1946-2010.’

She undertakes research on Southeast Asian photography, art and visual culture, with a particular focus on Thailand. Her more recent work is informed by questions of sexual difference, subjectivity and agency.

Clare was the sub-editor for Asian Art for the Routledge Encyclopedia of Modernism (2016) and is currently an editorial collective member for Southeast of Now: Directions in Contemporary and Modern Art in Asia, a scholarly journal published by NUS Press.

She has contributed papers to publications including, Journal of Aesthetics and Culture, Afterall and Trans-Asia Photography Review. She has also co-curated exhibitions such as, ‘Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook: Storytellers of the Town’, which was held at the 4A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art, University of Sydney Gallery and Drill Hall Gallery in 2014.

From 2015-16, Clare was a participant in the Power Institute’s ‘Ambitious Alignments: New Histories of Southeast Asian Art’ research program, funded by the Getty Foundation. Since 2017, Clare has been co-convener for a series of events and publications organized under the auspices of the Gender in Southeast Asian Art Research Network.

Teirra Kamolvattanavith, Journalist & Multimedia Producer at https://thisrupt.co/

AKA “Yam” Teirrais a multimedia journalist/ producer covering a wide range of topics including human rights, politics, culture and crime. In 2019, her video report on Thailand’s plastic pollution crisis was named the Best Single News Story in the country by the Asian Academy Creative Awards.

You can learn more about the Pulitzer Prize winning photograph by Neal Ulevich here:


You can check out the music video by RAP (Rap Against Dictatorship) here:




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