Thai – Myanmar border area, the location of all ethnic communities be ambiguous about their identity where the nation-state point of view as state people when it was needed in exchange. But at times, they are always seen as the culprits that create problems for the nation-state, as in the case of the Dara Ang ethnic community of Ban Nor Lae, Fang District, Chiang Mai Province, where problems with no rights of Citizen always main situation, the right to own the land, is only allocating quotas to produce agricultural products to support the capital activities.
Once the goods over supply, they have to struggle to allocated its by themselves moreover, some people need to handle with structural problems a situated lack capital to drive.
For this photographic artwork, this is part of the research on the production of communicating “In the case of the Dara Ang village of Ban Nor Lae ethnic group under the process of the Thai-Myanmar border area” which the researcher wants to present Ban Nor Lae community through the aesthetic process of represent photographic art in order to make society aware of their existence.
This creative process is an experiment in which the creators try to bring together the concepts of sociology and photographic art to explain social phenomena of the Dara Ang ethnic group under the context of the border area from the analysis. Preliminary data shows that most of the people in the border areas are remarked by the state as part of stability problem, so the state is trying to foster capital through quota allocations whereas governor is the who gain benefit but villager still lack the right to have their own land. They own life to live but no right to claim or negotiate in terms of price and agricultural products. The creators of the work see that although they have a desire to live a better life in terms of the welfare the state should create or give them rights. But what they hoped will not be able to elevate their live, because in the eyes of the nation state they are only cause trouble to the state all the time.
Photographic works depicting the life of the Dara Ang ethnic group living in the Thai-Myanmar border area. How they exist in a state of otherness that the nation-state creates so that traditions, beliefs, and identities are still the hallmarks that can be used to explain their identity to the outside society or not?
In this work, the creators have applied sociology concepts as a guideline in the production of photographic art as follows: the concept of identity, borders and the nation state then, participatory observation and interviews with people in the community both formally and informally in the Dara Ang ethnic village border area located in Fang District, Chiang Mai Province.
To collect information over all the history of the community, way of life and beliefs, including photographic recordings to see the reality at time that people lived in the area.
From the information obtained during the fieldwork to collect information, the creators found that the beliefs of the community connecting with ancestral spirits is very important to people in this Dara Ang community call as there will be “Jai Baan” as the spiritual center that allows Dara Ang people to be able to connect their relationships to them. It exists and will have a recognized elder of the community to lead the worship service every four years. The community will stand up prominently on the road that cuts through the village where left bank rule by Myanmar and another side belong to Thailand. Only advantage of this is villagers can do transection throughout natural border path to Dara Ang Village where far from Thai Fortier 1 kilometer.
Every Friday, although this road can be operated under the supervision of soldiers from 8:00 AM, but it is unfortunate that during the COVID-19 pandemic, villagers were unable to cross due to Thai state that has ordered the closure of this natural channel is also that the community area around “Jai Baan” will be gathered every morning of the people in the community before people disperse to work in their farms. As for some people who do not have their own land, will prepare to wait for the employer to go to work daily in the lower part of the village or in the employer’s garden, which are all in the same village. Where is an exchange area for agricultural products such as snow lotus and winter vegetables that villagers will exchange to trade according to the quota that other communities or middlemen order.
The information mention above lead creator realized the importance of the area around “ Jai Baan”, and photographing the community atmosphere in the morning, which is the end of the rainy and early winter, thus causing the area to have a murky atmosphere caused by the condition. The weather captured this moment and then processed it from color to black and white photographs in order to imply the absence of people in the border areas, regardless of their political status. Society, citizenship and the lack of equal access to resources as citizens of the Thai nation state.
Photography Digital black and white
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