Issue 3: July-August 2022
Painting used as banner by pittasso (ig: @pittasso)
Editor: Peera Songkünnatham
Agenda: listen to voices of “the mad” in Thailand and, through them, listen for the reverse discourse around madness, that is, how words and concepts originally used to medicalize or stigmatize or isolate people as mad or mentally ill are taken up and redefined.
Full issue below!
Autobiographical novel by small bandhit aniya
Translated by Sudkanueng B.
Short story by Mutita Ubekka
Translated by Sudarat Musikawong
Articles by Chantalak Raksayu
Translated by Emi Donald
Polemic by Chertalay Suwanpanich
Translated by the author
Interviews by iLaw & In the Name of Peace and Order
Translated by Peera Songkünnatham
Editorial by Ida Aroonwong
Translated by May Adadol Ingawanij
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 quarterly issue carries a theme. We welcome those who are interested in literary translation and who seek to unearth the people’s histories to join our network by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. We will keep you posted on upcoming themes!
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.
Logo design by Karnt Thassanaphak
Issue cover design by Juthamas Suksod