Visarut Sankham  

Photo exhibition "The Drowned Dreams" and "Costs of Lives, Cost of Living"

Visarut Sankham is a photographer based in Thailand who interested in representation, gaze, migration, and social justice. The set of his photographs on the life of people after Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy Dam collapsed exhibited during the public Forum "Living in the Ruins: Visitor’s perspectives on lives in the collapsed area of Xe Pian-Xe Namnoy Dam” and in September 2020 during the Mekong-ASEAN Environmental week. 

Below is the detail on his work, as described at The Drowned Dreams. The photographic accounted for the lost… | by Visarut Sankham | Medium

The photographic accounted for the lost beyond government report from one of the most devasted dam collapsed in Asia.

On23 July 2018 Xepian Xe Namnoy hydropower dam in Lao was collapsed. The collapsed of soon-to-be one of many electronic generated dams has not even shaken the dream of Lao government to become “Battery of Asia” even the damage marked as one of the most disasters for Laotian as the Lao government estimate around 72 million USD.

I went to Attapue province as part of a journalist team from Thailand to cover the aftermath of this disaster. And spend two weeks working in the filed. one day one of our key-informants tell us what is he supposed to do if this unfortunate event does not happen. That’s sparked me the idea of the hidden cost that did not count in Lao government summary report.

The hidden cost that did not count is the local’s dreams that were washed away by the flood after the dam collapsed. Therefore, these photographs were dedicated to accounting the lost dream of local in pursuit of the government’s dream.

Look at his photos and stories at: 

The Drowned Dreams. The photographic accounted for the lost… | by Visarut Sankham | Medium  

กว่าจะเป็นนิทรรศการฆ่าครองชีพ. ไม่ค่อยมีบทความที่พูดถึงวิธีการ ความคิด… | by Visarut Sankham | Medium  

ครบรอบสองปี เขื่อนลาวแตก — เล่าความฝันที่ล่มสลายของคนลาวสู่คนอย่างเรา ๆ ผ่านภาพถ่ายบนผืนผ้า (    

Jonas Gratzer 

Land grabbing, both in urban and rural areas in Cambodia, has been recognized internationally as the main obstacle to the country’s development for the well-being of its people. While the land in urban areas, including the middle of Phnom Penh, has been the target for large-scale investment, since 2008, it was recorded that 2.6 million hectares – or 76 % of the country’s arable land – were passed from the hands of farmers to those of agricultural companies, to export essentially sugar and rubber. Among others are the powerful Thai sugar companies investing and engaging in land-grabbing businesses in Cambodia.

Project SEVANA was honored to display photographs related to the land issue of Mr. Jonas Gratzer, the Swedish photographer named Photographer of the Year by the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand in 2015. Jonas gave support by allowing his work to be exhibited along with the Project SEVANA organized panel "Migrant workers as a consequence of land grab: Change of lives and communities, and potential impacts to the region” (Cases of Cambodia migrant workers relocated from sugar cane plantation areas in Oddor Meanchey Province)" at the 13th International Conference on Thai Studies in Chiang Mai Province, Thailand on 18th July 2018    

See more of Jonas Gratzer's work at;  

Roengrit Kongmuang 

Roengrit Kongmuang, a photographer and activist who has been involved with various environmental issues. His work on Xe Pian - Xe Namnoy Dam was exhibited and use everywhere during the trip of Laos Dam Investment Monitor (LDIM) to Korea in 2018. Roengrit has kindly allowed us to use his pictures on different occasions in continue.

His important set of photos on the people of Attapeu which was published in many magazines, including the Korean magazine.

The work of Roeungrit on Attapeu can be seen at:

The Mekong’s documentary films showing at the Mekong-ASEAN Environmental Week 2020

“Hoo Sahong, a Fish Corridor Threatened by Dam Development” 

by Mekong Watch

“The wish of Sin” by Khon Khan Film

“Migration from Tonle Sap Lake”  by Austin Meyer, a video and photojournalist

“Tonle Sap: On the day that fishes had disappeared” by Pale Blue Dot Group screened by Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS)

Some more documentaries and films from MAEW2021

Friday 24 September 14.00-14,30

MUSIC - “Voice from people”  - Thailand’s Northeastern style song Made for MAEW2021 with the local instrument "Khaen" by Goo-khaen Band, Khon Kaen Province

Watch the video:


Documentary - “Guardians of the River” on people of Klamath River and the dam Remover project in California, USA (2020)  And; Discussion by Bruce Shoemaker, Klamath Project Liaison, International Rivers       

Watch the film: 

Saturday 25 September

16.30-18.00 (Bangkok time)

Organize by: MAEW/Thai Public Broadcast Service (Thai PBS)

A short discussion with Niparat Unsaen, A young farmer from Mahasarakham Province, Northeastern Thailand from a documentary series “Life redesign” by Thai Public Broadcast Service (Thai PBS)

Moderate by Walailak Chomnoonsung, Thai PBS

With the documentary series - “Life redesign amid COVID-19 by the Isan (Northeastern Thailand)’s young generation" (2020)

Watch the video (Thai language only)

Sunday 26 September

11.30 -12.00    Documentary - Thai Investment in Myanmar: A Closer Look (2017) by EarthRights International 

16.30-18.00     Documentary film – “Vein” An awards winning documentary produced by 4 filmmakers from Myanmar (2016) by  Human Dignity Film Institute

Watch the documentary   

Monday 27 September16.30-18.00     

Documentary film - ASLI The Origins:Is the Orang Asli’s development in society progress or oppression towards their community? (2017) and; The film introduction by Zarissa Marican, the film producer from Malaysia.

Moderate by Puttita Dokput, GreenNews, Thailand

Watch the discussion and the film

Watch the film

Tuesday 28 September

16.00-18.00    Documentary - “Mekong is not the same” (2019) by Thai Public Broadcast Service (Thai PBS)     

Watch the video (In Thai language only)

Wednesday 29 September17.00-18.00    

17.00-18.00 Mekong documentary series - “Mekong Season, People Season” (2017) by Thai Public Broadcast Service (Thai PBS) and; A discussion with Khampin Aksorn, a film producer

Watch the interview and the documentary (Thai language only)