How Obscene‽

Issue 4: Winter 2022/2023
Editor: Peera Songkünnatham
Cover design: Juthamas Suksod, from images by Alexander Krivitskiy

Agenda: Reconsider the exclamation “How obscene!” by wondering “How? Obscene?” via a diversity of political formations and authorial perspectives

Full issue below!

Prison anecdote and petition by Ekkachai Hongkangwan
Verdicts by Thoetthoon Bhasathiti and Boontham Wisetla (Court of First Instance judges); Panon Katchapanan, Dusit Chimplee, and Pornchai Liaopattanapong (Court of Appeal judges)
Translated by Peera Songkünnatham

The Obscenity Case Against Ekkachai Hongkangwan
เอกชัย หงส์กังวาน กับคดีอนาจาร

Essay by Thongrop Jinanthuya
Letters to the editor by various readers
Sex essay by Doctor Klang
Translated by Emi Donald

Against Gay Erotica: Selections from Guy Magazine
วิวาทะ “ประสบกาม” เกย์ บนหน้านิตยสาร Guy

Articles by Intharayut
Translated by Peera Songkünnatham

Against Feudal Obscenity

Poem by Inthuch
Translated by Peera Songkünnatham

the pickpocket who got in our pants

Article by Kham Phaka
Translated by Tharita Intanam
Translation edited by Rachel V. Harrison

House of Flesh: On Eroticism
พลับพลาแห่งเนื้อนานาง: ว่าด้วยอีโรติก

Poem by unknown
Translated by Peera Songkünnatham

A Deep Dive Into Elephant Cuntry

About Sanam Ratsadon

Founded in 2021 by a group of volunteer translators, Sanam Ratsadon offers glimpses into Thai political history through stories that capture the resilience, creativity and voices of commoners.

As an online platform for Thai historical sources in English translation, we collect and promote the writings, art performances, and oral histories that shed light on the lived experience and the linked fate of ordinary people past and present. Each issue carries a theme.

Why Sanam Ratsadon?

Sanam Ratsadon means Commoners Field. We take this name from pro-democracy activists’ subversive renaming of Sanam Luang, an open-air, historical site located in the heart of old Bangkok. Conceived as a royal field [‘Luang’ literally means ‘royal’], the common people from the middle and lower classes had at various points in time used and enjoyed Sanam Luang for various purposes: as a public space to fly kites, picnic, spend leisure time, sleep, cruise and sell sex, and also to stage political rallies. In recent years, it was fenced up and reserved mainly for state and royal functions. In September 2020, protestors from various activist groups placed a democracy plaque in the field to reclaim it for the masses. That symbol of resistance disappeared overnight. 

Sanam Ratsadon is a tribute to the generations who have fought for democracy in Thailand. This website showcases the contest for meanings in public spaces. It also tells and explores Thailand’s history as it questions and builds it from the points of view of commoners.