This article examines public history in Deep South (Patani)1 Thailand, where renewed political conflict since 2014 has rekindled memories of a traumatic past and created an environment for its commemoration. A private museum honoring Haji Sulong, a Patanian nationalist branded as a rebel by Thai authorities, and the poetry of Zakariya Amataya conjure collective memories of the Deep South. Long subjected to hegemonic cultural policies that privilege a national identity centered on Thainess, the Malay South has gained visibility through the arts. Its vibrant arts-scape functions as a site of public history. The counterhistories produced serve to memorialize the past, offering a path out of historiographical silencing and potential for national reconciliation in the troubled region.
Memorializing Conflict and History in South Thailand through Museums, Art, and Poetry
Mala Rajo Sathian is Senior Lecturer in Southeast Asian Studies at the Universiti Malaya, Malaysia. Her research relates to ethnicity and marginalization, diaspora, conflict and governance and histories of nation-building in Southeast Asia, with particular focus on Thailand. She hopes to advocate peace and tolerance towards minority communities living in multicultural Southeast Asia through her research and writing. Her works include: Siamese in Malaysia: Beyond Sixty Years of Heritage (2018) and several book chapters and articles on ethnicity, identity and methodology in area studies.
Mala Rajo Sathian; Memorializing Conflict and History in South Thailand through Museums, Art, and Poetry. The Public Historian 1 May 2022; 44 (2): 7–28. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/tph.2022.44.2.7
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