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 

The 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 the 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, in order to export essentially sugar and rubber. Among others, are the powerful Thai sugar companies that are investing and engaging in the land-grabbing business in Cambodia.

Project SEVANA was honored to display the set of photographs related to the land issue of Mr. Jonas Gratzer, the Swedish photographer who was named Photographer of the Year by the Foreign Correspondents' Club of Thailand in 2015. Jonas gave the support to us by allowing his work to exhibit  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 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)