Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Empower and Concrete House

Chumpon and Noi Apisuk were invited by Zai to come to the island (driving all the way from Bangkok) to present their project Labour sans Frontiere as part of the Fringe Festival. The project deals with the issue of migrant rights.

On 26th March, both of them gave a session to talk about Thailand's only performance art venue, Concrete House, founded by Chumpon in 1993 and EMPOWER (Education Means Protection of Women Engaged in Re-creation) foundation, founded by Noi in the 1980s, to educate and empower Thailand's sex workers.

... art is always interested with people, we must have a method to deal with and understand the struggle of the society, knowing about the common folks. So when you say something about humanity it connects to your real feelings and thinking of the community. It is not necessary problem, but a kind of sentiment. Because idea is just a concept thing. In many case I see artists are not really connected to the issue they are talking about (...) So Chumpon and Noi have been doing that for many many years and I always wanted to learn from them but I don’t have much opportunity... -Zai Kuning

(they ask) Are you teaching English to promote prostitution?” we don’t really answer them but the women who come to our English class will put their questions and responses to British Council, AUA or Alliance Francise, that they officially teach language, are they promoting prostitution? And what matter the women if they can speak English? No matter who they are, what profession they are (in), they have the right to learn about how to speak English, or what the education means to the society. - Noi Apisuk

“ For me, I think it’s a problem when only the people doing business with sex are able to negotiate sex. What about people who are not doing business with sex, doing sex for free? (…) If you look at the other perspective, many housewives actually don’ know how to fight back with their husbands. Many of the good girls don’t have it.” - Chumpon Apisuk

Follow this link for full transcript of the forum


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