"Massage Parlour King" Chuwit Kamolvisit who is standing in the election in Thailand this weekend is an immensely amusing contestant, at least by E@L's deep and meaningful assessment of his road-side posters. Tim at Cultural Snow has used these posters to point out the essential farce that floats across the surface of a particularly dangerous pond - Thai politics.
His post reminded me that I had taken some photos of Chuwit's campaign posters at the last election, just after the (for once) bloodless coup that ousted Thaskin Shinawatra, back in September 2008. And this prompted me on a mission last week to photograph as many of this current election's Chuwit anti-corruption posters around Khon Kaen and in Bangkok. Man, these just crack me up.
Last election the theme seemed to be:
"Chuwit jumping from some mode of transport clutching binoculars in order to root out corruption no matter how inaccessible to public transport."
This election, his theme is more complicated and in many posters feature him holding an old-fashioned car steering-wheel:
"Chuwit confused, with road rage (palm up), tired of driving (from chasing corruption?), holding pongy baby, happy with baby-mauling dog, with road rage (pointing)."
For these posters there are slight variations in composition, hand position, frown or bulging eyes (hence degree of righteous anger), but these ones seem to be the core.
So funny. So tragic.
I meant to ask one the girls at our company in Thailand to translate them for me, but never mind, she asked me out for coffee instead.
The oldest coffee-shop in Bangkok, in a glorious old building at the Phramongkutklao Military Hospital, and my coffee partner / reluctant translator.
(these photos taken using RetroCam app on the GalaxyS)