Photography in the history of the 14 October 1973 and the 6 October 1976 events in Thailand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article offers an analysis of the role that photography plays in the history and memory of the two political events in Thailand known as 14 October 1973 and 6 October 1976. Both events were violent and took place in public, in front of the press and cameras. The events were connected, but the records of them have been treated very differently. This difference is particularly clear in the representation of violence. Photographs contribute to the dominant narrative of 14 October as a struggle for democracy and justice, albeit within a nationalist discourse that obscures and abstracts state violence. After two initial decades of invisibility and silence, photographs from 6 October have become a repository in a human rights discourse that focuses on individual redress for violence and impunity. To understand the role of photography in history, attention must be given to the conditions for archiving and dissemination, as well as to lacunae in the photographic records–to what is missing. Furthermore, thinking beyond the photographic frame and of photography as an event over time and space can direct attention towards the power relations that dictate the photographed event, as well as the moments of encounter with the photographs.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalization Studies)
  • Information Studies


  • human rights, impunity, photography, Thailand, violence
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)32-52
JournalSouth East Asia Research
Issue number1
Early online date2021 Feb 15
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Publication categoryResearch