With many of Thai traditional performance having roots in royalist-orientalist construction, such as “Khon” being the “highest form” of royal theatre, or “Nang Talung” (shadow play) being the state-sanctioned piece of folk entertainment, we want to compare their patterns of knowledge-transfer and colonial mimicry with the the form of “Plato’s allegory of cave”. This allegory brings out the question: who is being watched, who is watching what, and what kind of stories are generated from the act of collectively perceiving/understanding these traditions - blurring the line between “insiders” and “outsiders” “performers” “audiences”. Shifting away from the content-focus of these oriental forms of storytelling, we focus on their forms; how the size, gender, shadows, lights and other components of a show can facilitate a so-called cultural (mis)translation. With this arising possibility of deconstructing the pre-given social hierarchy (rooted in colonial Thai heritage), we will question and propose the alternate form beyond the usually “untouchable” “unmalleable” rigid structure of who (gender, race, class), how and what can be performed.
This serves as a point of departure: how do we firstly translate the already rigid colonial forms of Southeast Asian storytelling into the “new” possible contemporary?
How do we then secondly translate this into international context without reproducing cultural self-exoticism? How do we bridge the gap of generational knowledge between our ancestors and the new generation of diaspora?
03 Scene / Sequence / Narrative
> narrative and interpretation