Silence Has An Echo is a work about loss, regret, unsaid words, and the feeling of helplessness we often experience in the face of the political and economic powers responsible for determining much of our lives. While the underlying issues behind Thailand’s current political problems are complex, long standing and deeply ingrained, recently these divisions have risen much closer to the surface. Ordinary people are pawns in a power struggle between the nation’s dueling political and economic elite, and in reality the average citizen stands to gain little, regardless as to who wins. The losses, however, are all theirs to suffer.
In May 2010 this situation came to a shocking climax when large areas of Bangkok’s exclusive commercial district were destroyed and almost 90 protestors were killed by the military. My friends come from all sectors of Thai society and all sides of the political spectrum, so in the months before the events of “Savage May” tensions had been high, and arguments frequent. I’m not a journalist and nor do I have romantic notions of dying for my art, so when the killing began I stayed safely in my apartment building, however I experienced first hand the toll this situation took on everyday human relations. How could I react without glorifying the actions of either side? Without propagating clichés? Ultimately I realized I was less concerned with the spectacle of political violence itself, but rather the personal stories of those ordinary people left to live in a society deeply fractured by the power games of their nation’s political elite.