In May 2004, Juling Pongkunmul, a nursery school art teacher, was kidnapped by a group of women and brought to a hut where they beat and kicked the young woman until she fell into a coma from which she never awoke. In January 2007, citizen Juling died at the age of 24. Juling was a Buddhist from northern Thailand who had moved to the predominantly Muslim south to teach there. She is one of 50 Buddhist teachers who have been killed in the past five years in Thailand; one of 3,000 victims on both sides in what has become a virtually unsolvable conflict. The “Juling case” prompted artists Ing K, Manit Sriwanichpoom and democratic MP Kraisak Choonhavan to undertake a four-month journey to Thailand’s “Heart of Darkness”, its three southern-most provinces. What emerges from this journey is a travellogue that, rather than focusing on historical background, the number of dead, terrorist attacks or the despotism of the military, takes the time to listen to people. The result is a diary of anger, sorrow and helplessness: the tragedy of a dysfunctional state presented in the language of its citizens.
by Kraisak Choonhavan, Manit Sriwanichpoom, Ing K