Saturday, July 02, 2011

Biting Off More Than You Can Chuwit.

"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)



marke said...

All very strange! He looks very, very unhappy with that baby, but pretty pleased with the dog. The baby regards him with some disgust, while the dog seems genuinely, and sheepishly embarrassed by the company he has to keep.

marke said...

Amazing election shots. I wonder what he is trying to convey. He looks disgusted with the baby, but really quite pleased with the dog. In turn, the baby regards him with deep suspicion, and the dog is sheepishly embarrassed to be seen in his company.

expat@large said...

He's a scream. And it all came from the Assisted Ejaculation Industry...

According to the links from Cultural Snow, then Tim's article, baby has crapped her pants and so "needs a change." The dog, no idea.

I love the Miami Vice feel to the older ones though.

DanPloy said...

Does this help?

expat@large said...

Nice find Dan!

DanPloy said...

He won 4 seats by the way.
Ploy voted for him.

expat@large said...

My colleague in the picture was reluctant to vote for anyone. "What will happen with my beloved country?"

Lost in Melbourne said...

Phil I think there is also a degree of Thai Symbolism in these posters as Nam was explaining some of them to me. She talked about some old time Thai sayings and how they had tied them into the meaning used in the posters

Lost in Melbourne said...

Nam was unable to vote at all after what she described as a deliberate and recent over-complication of the where you need to go to vote system. She had returned to her home town and was referred back to BKK and in the end missed out. As she was not happy with the final result, missing her vote did not make her a smiling Thai lady.

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