New Mandala readers in Australia may be interested in these two upcoming events in Melbourne.

Event 1

La Trobe University and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image present a free screening of the new Thai documentary “Citizen Juling”. Friday 28th March, 7.15 ACMI (Federation Square). [citizen-juling-eflyer.pdf]

“Citizen Juling” follows the life of Juling, a Buddhist who went to live in the Malay-speaking Muslim provinces of Thailand to teach arts. She was brutally bashed and left comatose, allegedly by local Muslim women whose children Juling taught. Her story becomes the canvass upon which the whole “Southern Fire” is drawn. Nearly 3000 have been killed in the border provinces of Southern Thailand since 2004. Largely ignored by the media, it is one of the most vicious conflicts in contemporary Southeast Asia.

In following the footsteps of Juling and those touched by her and her story, “Citizen Juling”, does something no “terrorism analysis” can do. It brings into genuine dialogue the frustrations of Muslims and Buddhists alike, it offers insights into the very special pain of violent loss, and it reaches beyond the clichés of the War on Terror, to tell a very human story of idealism and betrayal.

Because Citizen Juling is a powerful documentary that mixes the ordinary and revealing life of Malay Muslims in Thailand with a quietly probing study of violence and its odious ramifications, the world may finally take notice of what is happening in the South of Thailand.

Event 2

“Pink Man and Other Adventures in Photography”

Manit Sriwanichpoom

Manit Sriwanichpoom is Thailand’s most internationally established photographer. He was awarded the Higashikawa Overseas Photographer Prize in 2007. His works are held by the Maison Européenne de la Photographie (Paris), the Fukuoka Asian Art Museum (Japan), the Singapore Art Museum and private collectors. In 2002, he was named one of the world’s 100 most interesting emerging photographers by Phaidon Press in their book BLINK.

He will talk about the birth and development of his best known series, ‘Pink Man’, the fat Asian man in the obscene pink satin suit who pushes a matching obscene pink shopping cart. How did an idea for one street performance satirizing Thai contemporary aspirations become an indelible cross culture mascot of consumerism? He will also share his thoughts on other critical and controversial work such as ‘This Bloodless War’, a series of black & white photographs reconstructed from Vietnam war news photos; and ‘In-Your-face’, a series of artist portraits which has suffered from odd forms of censorship, most recently when a shipping company refused to send the print to an exhibition in Germany, due to obscenity concern.

7.30pm, Monday 31 March
Institute of Postcolonial Studies, 78-80 Curzon St North Melbourne, 3051
Charges: Waged $5, Unwaged $3, Members free