Movers and shakers

Around Southeast Asia, prominent individuals are finding bold ways to rise up and challenge political systems, institutions and even history.

Julija Veljkovic
February 21, 2020
Movers and shakers

We kicked the week off with an exclusive interview with Thai opposition leader Thanathorn Juangroongruangkit, hearing his big plans for the Future Forward Party (FFP). We also looked at how the city of Zamboanga in the southern Philippines is preserving a Spanish creole language, and we unwrapped the story of Maung, a Burmese artist finding solace through his art depicting the traumas of his homeland. We wrapped the week up by marking the landmark FFP trial in Thailand, looking to the political activists prepared to take their place should they fall. 

“If they dissolve our party, there will be two paths running in parallel – one is a new party in parliament, running under a new name but the same ideology, and the second is a social movement run by me and Piyabutr,” said Thai opposition figure, Thanathorn.

The billionaire spoke exclusively to us about the charges he and his FFP party face, his plans should the party be dissolved, as well as upcoming protests in Thailand.

In the city of Zamboanga in the Philippines, a colonial-era Spanish creole, Chabacano, has survived for centuries despite dying out elsewhere in the country. For a Spanish speaker, Chabacano has many unusual phrases. But for a Spanish language scholar, Chabacano is a lexical treasure trove of words and structures which departed long ago from modern usage.

Burmese artist Maung escaped Myanmar’s civil war as a young man and now resides in Thailand, where he uses the medium of watercolour and words to exercise his trauma and express his feelings. Inspired by photographs, his paintings serve as poignant vignettes of the everyday injustices of war.

On Friday, Thailand’s bourgeoning opposition party Future Forward face the possibility of dissolution. How will Thai democracy activists carry on the struggle in their place?

Mixed marriages in Cambodia are often regarded with suspicion. Is the Khmer partner more interested in foreign citizenship and a foreign work permit? Will the barang partner suddenly pack his or her bags and leave? In a Top Read of 2009, we look at how cultural differences, bureaucratic mazes, and financial hurdles impacted the ability of foreign couples to get married in Cambodia.  

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