Democracy After Death: Film Screening and Discussion

Presented by ANU College of Asia & the Pacific

Democracy After Death: The Tragedy of Uncle Nuamthong Praiwan (directed by Neti Wichiansaen, 2016) begins with the story of Uncle Nuamthong Praiwan, an elderly taxi driver who hung himself in protest after the 19 September 2006 coup. Combining narrative, animation, performances and archival news footage, Democracy After Death then examines and recasts the years of Thai politics defined by the 19 September 2006 and 22 May 2014 coups. The story of the exile of the director, Neti Wichiansaen, also known by his online moniker, Pruay Santihead, is also woven throughout the film. He has been in exile since late 2010 after being accused of violating Article 112, the provision of the Criminal Code which defines and stipulates the punishment for alleged lèse majesté. The film raises urgent, and unanswerable, questions about the political and personal effects of Thailand’s cycle of coups and repression of freedom of expression. The film will be followed by a panel discussion on dissident cultural politics and struggles against dictatorship in Thailand and beyond. This is the first public screening of the film in Australia.

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