In collaboration with Belle Phromchanya.
Shutdown Bangkok, January 2014.
Visiting the current political demonstrations in Bangkok, the most remarkable points were the ‚festive‘ atmosphere that was going on. The streets were filled with people wearing red, white and blue, the colors of the Thai flag; a symbol occupied by the demonstrators. The colors of the flag appeared on T-Shirts, sleeves, glasses, hair accessoires, gloves, face paint, and much more. These props were sold on the streets at merchandise stands, similar to the ones you come across at music festivals. And there were band playing on stages. Though there were bombs exploding and gunfires in other parts of the city, the mood in central bangkok was in general: fun.
It seems people were joining the demonstrations for different reasons: demonstrating against the government, or having a good time participating in the political festival. The latter includes another reason: to be seen. A huge amount of people dressed up and took selfie after selfie to an extend that the Thai demonstrations hold the unofficial world record of uploading selfies per day. It almost shut down Instagram.
The revolution´s digital life takes place on facebook and Instagram, partly protesting, partly posing in and with the mob. „Whether they were there to be seen and take selfies or seriously protest the government, there is – of course – now a Facebook page featuring the finest girls of the protest. „Mob Stars“ is now trending and has already collected over 26,000 likes for displaying cute girls and their nationalistic fashion statements.“1
1. Political Passion: Cutest protest girls compiled online http://bangkok.coconuts.co/2014/01/16/political-passion-cutest-protest-girls-compiled-online
2. Thai Protesters Pause to Take ‘Selfies’ During Rallies http://blogs.wsj.com/searealtime/2013/12/11/thai-protesters-pause-to-take-selfies-during-rallies/
3. ‘Nobody Liked My Selfie and Now the Country Is Going to Hell’ http://time.com/5643/nobody-liked-my-selfie-and-now-the-country-is-going-to-hell/
Installation at Third Floor Vision – Retrospective Extravaganza at De Punt, Amsterdam
21 February – 3 March 2014
GRAB PROPS AND TAKE SELFIES!!
All photos taken by the participants were immediately streamed to an existing mobstar photo cillection – shown on the screen.
21 February, 2014
Amsterdam, The Netherlands