At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic in Thailand, the staff and students of the Lopburi College of Dramatic Arts launched a public education initiative to spread information about how to prevent infection using a cultural approach consisting of traditional dance with new lyrics.
I am from Surin Province in the southern part of the Northeastern region of Thailand. I became interested in environmental and social issues related to the Mekong River when studying for a bachelor’s degree at Khon Kaen University.
According to Luc Citrinot (2010), “for a long time, museums in Southeast Asia did not see as interesting attractions to international visitors. Thusly, a museum visit is generally not the factor to motivate their visit this part of the world”.
The author tells us how he continues the tradition of his Javanese ancestors and their belief in the universality of art and prayers, irrespective of specific symbols or rites. We are all united to safeguard our universe and humanity, and he dances and prays that this COVID-19 goes away soon.
This special initiative provides a platform for the creative use of visual documentation and art to advocate for environmentally and socially friendly measures to save the Mekong River.
Queen Azenith performance on the roof made the artist Aze Ong feel at peace with herself and the surrounding. She felt she had reached the peak, for an infinite moment of time freed from all the COVID-19 confinement.
This portray of the food producers and sellers in the photographer’s neighbourhood of Chonburi in the surroundings of the tourist location of Pattaya aims to show how their lives have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. All bars and tourist enterprises are closed but wet market and street vendors have been allowed to remain open. Still customers are few since there are no tourists and locals are expected to stay home. Sellers have to adapt and re-invent themselves to survive.
During the lock-down in Pangarap Village, organic gardening has become a source of healthy food for the villagers. Growing some vegetables helps them reduce their livelihoods costs and their movement thus helping them to survive and reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.
Towards the end of April, under the blazing sun of Indonesia’s capital Jakarta, gravediggers in Pondok Rangon Public Cemetery wielded their shovel and dug into the ground.
The drawings include natural elements that interrogate our capacity to put environment in the center of the political and economic agendas. But more than this, they are my personal journey through fear and insecurity to learning to live with the pandemic.