Sunday, February 20, 2005

Missing But Not Forgotten

Khao San Road is the heart of Bangkok's backpacker district. I've always thought of it as a pretty hedonistic kind of place populated by "trustafarians" (among Urban Dictionary's definitions: "one who lives with poorer people in an attempt to gain credibility, or street-cred, while disguising the trust fund they actually live off"). But Khao San Road is also the site of a moving tribute to those lost to the earthquake-tsunami catastrophe that hit Thailand's islands so badly. Taped to metal railings are hundreds of simple A4 leaflets with photographs and bare details of some of those who are still missing nearly two months on. The photographs are of Thais and non-Thais alike. Mostly they are unaffected holiday snaps; occasionally there is a candid shot of a dead person; and sometimes photographs of whole families who have disappeared.
A horrible fate - a force of nature - is suddenly embodied in these images of specific people, places, and an indelible event. Together they are a memorial collage for the dead.

All photographs are an expression of absence and the absence of the missing is final.

According to the official Thai agency seeking information about the victims of the tsunami the whereabouts of
4,234 persons remains unresolved.


Post a Comment

<< Home