Photography for social change by Suthep Kritsanavarin

24 – 31 October 2018

Introduction:

I have been working as a photographer for over twenty years. Along the way there have been many important moments, but one of the main turning points was the 2004 Tsunami in SouthEast Asia. Hundred thousands of people from many countries were affected by this disaster and the loss of life was horrendous, especially in Indonesia and Thailand. In response to the heartache, there was a gathering of international media organizations and individuals from Japan, USA, France, Indonesia and Thailand. The result of this was workshops to teach children photography skills in Aceh, Indonesia and Khao Lak, Thailand. During these workshops, children were taught how to tell their story through photography.

One of the main benefits of these gatherings was bringing people who suffered losses together with one another and with people of different backgrounds. These meetings went some way to healing the wounds of the children who suffered immeasurable loss during the Tsunami. After the success of this initial incarnation, the project was expanded to Yala, Narathiwat and Pattani provinces, becoming The Insight Out! Project. These provinces also suffered greatly caused by internal conflict between arm groups and the Thai government.  The idea behind the project is to help children who have had their lives affected adversely. After the project was also tested in the war torn Kachin State in northern Myanmar.

Our hope is that this project can become a communication tool for children and aid them on the road to happiness. After a year of the Insight Out! Project, I was invited by Patrick D’ Noirmont to join the Angkor Photo Workshop in Siem Reap, Cambodia. I continue to be a part of this festival for another 10 years. The purpose of this particular workshop and festival is to help Asian photographers, especially young people  who are unable to get into professional photography workshop due to the high cost. Many participants the project have since gone on to become professional photographers and have been able to contribute to society through this medium.

In 2014, I started a documentary photography festival in Bangkok as I felt my decades of experience in this field has taught me valuable lessons which I hope to pass on to a wider audience. Bangkok is the hub of international photojournalists but it previously lacked an exhibition space where Thai people could experience their work.

PhotoJourn Festival first took place in BACC: Bangkok Art and Culture Centre It included slideshows of work from photographers from Asia, Europe and USA and portfolio review for Thai photographers. The following year, the festival  expanded to three venues; in the old part of Bangkok(Grand Palace Area) in Thammasat University and Tatien Park and now included outdoor exhibitions alongside a series of lectures which were designed to demonstrate the purpose of documentary photography and explain how it can influence society for the better. In that year, the festival became a vehicle for stateless children, especially those from Tak province who exhibited their work alongside the other photographers.

This year was fundamental in shaping the festival and the way it has moved forward to this day.


ตลอดการทำงานเป็นช่างภาพมากกว่า 20 ปีนั้น ผมมีจุดเปลี่ยนอยู่หลายเหตุการณ์ จุดเปลี่ยนครั้งหนึ่งการหันมาเป็นผู้ให้โดยตรง แทนที่จะเป็นผู้บอกเล่าเรื่องราวอยู่เบื้องหลังเพียงอย่างเดียว เหตุการณ์นั้นเกิดขึ้นในฤดูหนาวของปี 2004 เมื่อเกิดเหตุการณ์ Asian Tsunami ขึ้นในเอเชียตะวันออกเฉียงใต้ ทำให้มีการสูญเสียชีวิตเป็นจำนวนมากในหลายประเทศ โดยเฉพาะในอินโดนีเซียและไทย จากเหตุการณ์ในครั้งนั้น จึงเกิดการรวมตัวของสื่อมวลชนนานาชาติ ทั้งญี่ปุ่น อเมริกัน ฝรั่งเศส อินโดนีเซีย และไทย เพื่อที่จะทำเวิร์คชอปให้เด็กที่สูญเสียเหล่านี้ โดยเราได้สอนเด็กๆในอาเจะ อินโดนีเซีย และที่เขาหลักประเทศไทย ซึ่งทั้งสองที่เป็นพื้นที่ที่ได้รับผลกระทบอย่างรุนแรงจากเหตุการณ์ในครั้งนั้น เด็กหลายคนกลายเป็นกำพร้า บางคนทั้งครอบครัวสูญเสียที่อยู่อาศัย ทรัพย์สินทุกอย่าง บางคนมีแผลใจติดตัวตลอดไป

การทำการสอนนั้น เราไม่ได้เน้นเทคนิคมากนัก แต่เราสอนให้เขาได้เล่าเรื่องของตนเองผ่านทางภาพถ่ายที่มีชีวิต เล่าเรื่องการสูญเสีย โดยไม่ต้องเล่าเป็นตัวหนังสือ ให้เกิดมิตรภาพในระหว่างเด็กๆ รวมทั้งคนแปลกหน้าอย่างเรา เป็นการเยียวยาแผลใจของพวกเขาไปในตัว ต่อมาหลังจากนั้นเราก็ได้ขยายโครงการนี้ซึ่งเราเรียกว่า โครงการ Insight Out! ไปในสามจังหวัดชายแดนใต้ของประเทศไทย ซึ่งมีเหตุการณ์ความไม่สงบของการก่อการร้ายอยู่บ่อยๆ หรือการเคลื่อนโครงการไปสู่ประเทศพม่าในพื้นที่ของคะฉิ่นที่มีการสู้รบระหว่างรัฐบาลและกองกำลังของชนกลุ่มน้อย ซึ่งทุกวันนี้โครงการก็ยังมีดำเนินการสอนอย่างต่อเนื่อง เด็กๆหลายคนทุกวันนี้ได้แต่งงานมีครอบครัว และลูกไปแล้ว เราเพียงแต่หวังว่าโครงการนี้จะได้สร้างความสุข และเล่าเรื่องซึ่งครั้งหนึ่งเป็นเรื่องที่พวกเขาไม่สามารถเล่าที่อื่นได้

หลังโครงการ Insight Out! ได้เพียงหนึ่งปี เพื่อนของผมคือ  Patrick D’ Noirmont ช่างภาพชาวฝรั่งเศสก็ได้ชักชวนผมเข้าร่วมสอนให้แก่ Angkor Photo Workshop ที่จัดขึ้นที่เมืองเสียมเรียบ ประเทศกัมพูชาทุกปี ซึ่งจัดต่อเนื่องมาเป็นเวลาเข้าปีที่ 13 การสอนนี้เป็นส่วนหนึ่งในเทศกาลภาพถ่าย Angkor Photo Festival อันเป็นเทศกาลภาพถ่ายแห่งแรกๆของเอเชีย โดยผมเป็นคนสอนชาวเอเชียคนแรก และเป็นอย่างนี้มาหลายปี ในเวิร์คชอบนี้เรามีความตั้งใจที่จะให้เป็นเวิร์คชอปฟรีให้กับช่างภาพชาวเอเชียรุ่นใหม่ที่ไม่ค่อยมีโอกาสมากนัก เนื่องจากการสอนที่เป็นมาสเตอร์คลาสเหล่านี้มักมีราคาแพงทำให้ช่างภาพรุ่นเยาว์ส่วนใหญ่ไม่ได้รับโอกาสมากนัก และเพื่อที่พวกเขาจะได้ถ่ายทอดความเป็นไปในสังคมของเขาได้ดีขึ้น โดยการสอนนั้นกระทำโดยช่างภาพต่างชาติที่มีชื่อเสียงโดยมีการสอนแบ่งเป็น งานประเภทภาพสารคดี และงานแบบคอนเซ็บป์ ในทุกวันนี้ช่างภาพรุ่นใหม่เหล่านี้กลายเป็นช่างภาพที่มีความสามารถและมีชื่อเสียง สร้างประโยชน์ให้กับสังคมของประเทศเขาเป็นจำนวนมาก

ในปี 2014 ผมซึ่งมีความคิดมาตลอดที่อยากจะทำเทศกาลภาพถ่ายเกี่ยวกับงานสารคดี และภาพข่าวเชิงสารคดี ซึ่งเป็นสิ่งที่ผมถนัด และเล็งเห็นว่าเมืองไทยโดยเฉพาะกรุงเทพนั้นเป็นศูนย์รวมของช่างภาพนานาชาติเหล่านี้เป็นจำนวนมาก แต่ไม่มีเวทีให้คนไทยได้เห็นงาน และเป็นแหล่งพบปะเพื่อเรียนรู้ และแลกเปลี่ยนที่สำคัญ จึงได้รวบรวมคนที่สนใจในงานด้านนี้จัดงานภาพถ่ายด้านนี้ขึ้นที่กรุงเทพ โดยเรียกว่า PhotoJourn Festival ซึ่งในปีแรกจัดขึ้นที่ BACC หรือ หอศิลปและวัฒนธรรมแห่งกรุงเทพมหานคร ซึ่งอยู่ใจกลางกรุงเทพ โดยมีทั้งงานฉายสไลด์โชว์ขึ้นบนผนังอาคารขนาดยักษ์ โดยเป็นการรวมรวมงานดีๆมาจากช่างภาพแนวนี้ทั่วโลก ไม่ว่าจะเป็นจาก เอเชีย ยุโรป อเมริกา และยังมีการทำ Portfolio Review ให้กับช่างภาพไทย ต่อมาก็จัดขึ้นอีกครั้งในปีต่อมา โดยจัดขึ้นที่พื้นที่โซนเก่าแก่ของกรุงเทพ คือบริเวณพระบรมมหาราชวัง โดยแบ่งการจัดออกเป็นสามโซนคือ ที่มหาวิทยาลัยธรรมศาสตร์ ที่ป้อมพระอาทิตย์ และที่สวนธารณะท่าเตียน โดยในครั้งนั้น มีการจัดแสดงภาพถ่ายกลางแจ้ง การฉายสไลด์โชว์ และการเสวนาในหัวข้อต่างๆที่น่าสนใจ โดยมีการร่วมมือกับองค์กรการศึกษาชั้นนำอย่าง มหาวิทยาลัยธรรมศาสตร์ องค์กรสิ่งแวดล้อม เพื่อสร้างความเข้าใจว่างานสารคดีสร้างความตะหนัก และเปลี่ยนแปลงสังคมได้อย่างไร อีกทั้งในงานนี้ยังได้จัดการเรียนการสอนให้กับเด็กที่ยังไม่มีบัตรประชาชนไทยในพื้นที่ห่างไกลที่จังหวัดตากของประเทศไทย เพื่อนำมาแสดงในงานนี้ด้วย

나는 20년 넘게 사진가로서 활동하였다. 그 길을 걷는 동안 중요한 순간들이 있었으나 2004년 동남아시아 쓰나미가 가장 큰 터닝 포인트가 되었다. 많은 국가의 수십만명의 사람들이 이 재난에 영향을 받았고 특히 인도네시아와 태국에서 많은 이들이 참혹하게 목숨을 잃었다. 이 슬픔에 대한 응답으로 수 많은 뉴스미디어와 일본, 미국, 프랑스, 인도네시아 그리고 태국의 프리렌스 저널리스트들이 현장에 모여들었다. 이 사진 워크샵의 목적은 인도네시아 아체와 카오 락에서 아이들에게 사진교육을 하는 것이었다. 워크샵 기간 아이들은 어떻게 자신의 이야기를 사진을 통해 말하는지를 배웠다. 가장 중요한 성과는 다른 배경을 가진 상실로 고통을 받는 사람들이 함께 하도록 하는 것이었다. 이 모임은 어떤 면에서 쓰나미로 인한 아이들의 헤아릴 수 없는 상실로 인한 상처를 치유하고자 하였다. 초기 구현의 성공 후 프로젝트는 인싸이트 아웃 프로젝트와 함께 얄라, 파타니 지방으로 확장되었다. 이 지방은 무장 그룹과 태국 정부군과의 내전으로 인해 큰 고통을 받는 지역이었다. 이 프로젝트의 아이디어 배경에는 어둠으로 삶이 얼룩진 아이들을 돕고자 하는데 있다. 이후에는 북 미얀마의 카친주에서도 실험적으로 진행되었다.

우리의 희망은 이 프로젝트가 아이들의 소통의 도구가 되고 행복의 길에 이르도록 돕는 것이다. 인사이트 아웃 프로젝트 이후 나는 패트릭에 드노어몽에 의해 캄보디아 시엠립에서 개최되는 앙코르 사진 워크샵에 강사로 초빙되었다. 이후 10년동안 이 축제의 일부분이 되었다. 이 특별한 워크샵과 축제는 아시아 사진가들을 돕고 특히 아시아의 젊은이들이 프로 사진가로 성장하도록 하였다. 많은 참가자들은 프로 사진가로 성장하였고 사진을 통해 사회에 기여할 수 있게 되었다.

2014년에는 방콕에서 지난 이 분야에서 10년간의 경험과 가르침을 바탕으로 더 많은 관객들과 함께하고자 다큐멘터리 사진축제를 시작 하였다. 방콕은 국제 포토저널리즘의 허브이나 태국인들은 작품을 감상하기에 앞서 전시공간에 대한 결핍이 있었다. 포토전 축제는 BACC(방콕 예술문화센터)에서 처음으로 열렸다. 아시아, 유럽, 미국 사진가들의 슬라이드쇼를 포함하여 태국 사진가들을 위한 포트폴리오 리뷰가 열렸다. 다음해 축제는 세 곳의 장소로 확대되었다. 방콕의 원도심(그랜드 팰리스 지역)다마삿 대학과 타티엔 공원 그리고 야외 전시가 다큐멘터리 사진이 어떻게 사회를 긍정적으로 변화시킬수 있는지를 보여주는 위한 다양한 강좌와 함께 열렸다. 그 해에 축제에서는 특히 탁 지방에서 온 국적이 없는 아이들이 자신의 작업을 다른 사진가들에게 보여줌으로서 사진이 하나의 삶의 수단이 되었다. 올해에는 심도있게 축제의 외형을 이 시대에 맞게 변화시키고자 한다.

 

About The Artist: Suthep  Kritsanavarin

He is one of Thailand’s leading photojournalists. His award-winning work has been published internationally in: the New York Times, International Herald Tribune, National Geographic Thailand, Geographical, Aera and Japan Times. Suthep has covered environmental, social and humanitarian issues in Southeast Asia for nearly two decades.

Suthep’s work is based on his firm belief that a photojournalist must act as a conscientious observer of society and culture. He has to contribute to social change on a local and global level. He achieves these goals by working on a project over long durations to build deep understanding on the topic and to establish trust among the communities where he works. Suthep’s powerful images create in-depth documentary essays shot over protracted periods of time on his own initiative and funding.

Recently, Suthep traveled to Burma within a week after Cyclone Nargis that devastated the country. Suthep was able to visit distant areas devastated by the cyclone and chronicled the suffering of people caused by the military government’s actions or lack thereof. His images bore witness to the destruction, torment, and despair not only caused by the cyclone but also exacerbated by the government.

In 2008 Suthep received the Days Japan International Photojournalism Award and was selected for the Best of Photojournalism award from the US-based National Press Photographers Association. His Mekong photo documentary was awarded a grant by the Blue Earth Alliance. After the 2004 Asian Tsunami, Suthep co-founded and worked as the Photo Director of InSIGHT Out! Photography Project. The project teaches children to document their lives through photography in tsunami-affected areas in Banda Aceh, Indonesia and Phang Nga Thailand. He is only the Asian Tutor for young Asian Photographers at the Angkor Photography Festival.

Suthep has exhibited his documentary photography in Thailand, Cambodia, China, Japan, Germany and France including; Siphadon Mekong Fishing Under Threat, Kuay and Elephants: Struggling for Survival, Life in Xinjiang, China and Hunters and Monk in Thailand.

Suthep’s images have been used by international and regional organizations for campaigns and education. The World Wildlife Fund, the International Rivers Network and Terra are using his photos from the Mekong project in their campaigns about the impact of the construction of local dams in Laos and Cambodia.

His cyclone Nargis work received the Days Japan International Photojournalism Award 2009 and be one of the finalist for 2008 Care International Award.

<작가소개>
메콩강 하류 지역을 따라 거주민들의 삶을 찍어온 지난 3년간, 나는 개발의 방치와 자연 보존 노력의 부족이, 소규모 어부들의 생계와 전통적 삶의 방식을 어떻게 위협하고 있는지 지켜봐 왔다. 이 프로젝트는 시판동과 라오스, 캄보디아, 그리고 태국의 메콩강 하류 거점 거류인들의 학문적 고찰과, 연구 중에 있었던 실제 경험들을 보여줄 것이다. 통상, 다큐멘터리 작업은 그 깊이 있는 주제에 도달하기 위하여 작업자들의 헌신적인 노력을 요구한다. 계절에 따라 변화하는 생명들과 드들의 이주의 주기를 기록하기 위하여, 나는 기회가 될 때 마다 이 유역을 빈번히 여행하였다.”

수텝은 태국의 주도적인 사진가이다. 그의 사진은 the New York Times, International Herald Tribune, National Geographic Thailand, Geographical, Area and Japan Times 등으로부터 수상 받아, 그의 작품은 국제적으로 간행 되었다. 수텝은 거의 20년간 동남아에서 환경, 사회, 인권에 관한 이슈를 불러일으켰다.

수텝의 작업은, 포토저널리스트란 사회와 문화의 양심적 관찰자로 행동하여야 한다는 그의 굳은 신념을 기반으로한다. 그는 현지의 지역적 혹은 전세계적 차원의 사회적 변화에 기꺼이 기여하였다. 그는 그가 작업하는 공동체들로부터 그가 관찰하고자하는 주제에 대해 깊은 이해와 신뢰를 쌓아 나가기 위하여, 기나긴 인내를 견디며 작업을 진행함으로써, 이러한 목표들을 성취해 나아갔다. 수텝의 박력 있는 이미지들은, 그만의 독창성과 개인적 자금에 의해 장시간 동안 작업되어 찍혀져, 깊이 있는 다큐멘터리적 내용을 만든다.

최근에 수텝은 일주일 정도, 버마를 강타하여 완전히 파괴해 버린 태풍 나르지스의 피해 지역에 다녀왔다. 수텝은 태풍에 의해 완전히 파괴되어 버린 원거리의 지역들을 방문하여, 군사정부의 행동에 의해 야기된 민중의 고충을 기록할 수 있었다. 그의 이미지들은 태풍으로써 뿐만 아니라 정부에 의해 또한 피해 받은 파괴, 고통 그리고 절망을 꿰뚫어 보고 있다.

2008년, 수텝은 the Days Japan International Photojournalism Award를 수여 받았고, the US-based National Press Photographers Association 으로부터 the Best of Photojournalism award의 수상자로 선정되었다. 그의 메콩강에 관한 다큐멘터리 사진들은 the Blue Earth Alliance 로부터 지원금을 수여받았다. 2004년, 아시아 일대를 강타한 쓰나미 이후에, 수텝은 Photo Director of InSIGHT Out! Photography Project 를 공동 창립하여 활동하였고, 이 프로젝트는 인도네시아 반다아체와 태국의 팡은가의 쓰나미 강타지역에서, 사진을 통하여 그들의 삶을 기록하도록 어린이들을 교육하였다. 그는 또한 the Angkor Photography Festival 에서 유일한, 젊은 아시안 사진작가를 위한 아시안 지도교사이다.

수텝의 다큐멘터리 사진들은, ‘시판동 메콩강 어업의 위협’, ‘쿠아이와 코끼리;생존을 위한 투쟁’, ‘중국 신장의 삶’, ‘태국의 사냥꾼과 승려’ 등의 주제로, 태국과 캄보디아, 중국, 일본, 독일과 프랑스에 전시해 오고 있다.
수텝의 이미지들은, 캠페인과 교육을 위해, 국제 혹은 현지 지역의 기관들에 의해 사용되어 왔다. The World Wildlife Fund, the International Rivers Network 그리고 Terra 등은, 라오스와 캄보디아에서 현지 댐 건설의 충격에 관한 그들의 캠페인 활동에, 메콩강 프로젝트에 관한 수텝의 사진들을 사용하고 있다.

수텝의 나르지스 태풍에 관한 작업은 2009년 the Days Japan International Photojournalism Award를 수여 받았으며, 2008년 Care International Award의 최종 후보에 오르기도 하였다.

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