'Ideas' festival returns to Bangkok

The festival will tackle pressing issues and offer inspiring ideas. photo courtesy of BangkokEdge

"Bangkok: A Future For Everyone" is the promise of BangkokEdge 2020, the city's original ideas festival, which returns to Museum Siam and Chakrabongse Villas on Feb 1 and 2 from noon to 11pm.

The event will be packed with more than 50 different activities, covering talks, workshops, demonstrations, a kids' corner, open air films, an exhibition, craft booths, food stalls, the Social Edge NGOs Zone, books and live performances.

Visitors will learn about new ideas and discuss international trends and challenges. Hot topics include climate change, women's rights, LGBTI issues, waste management, water shortages and green spaces in Bangkok. Matters such as sustainable tourism, ethical fashion and social enterprises will also be discussed.

The talks will be conducted either in Thai or English by prominent writers and experts from Thailand, Southeast Asia, China and Europe. Among them will be British historian Peter Frankopan, author of The New Silk Roads: The Present And Future Of The World; Dutch historian Frank Dikotter, author of a trilogy of books on China; New Zealand journalist Anna Fifield, currently Beijing bureau chief for the Washington Post; and Australian writer and activist Natalie Isaacs, who is also CEO and founder of the NGO, 1 Million Women.

Participating Thai speakers are Nanticha Ocharoenchai, founder of Climate Strike Thailand; Monthon Jira, co-founder of Wonderfruit; Nop Ponchamni, musician and founder of LIFEiS Group; Patipat Chaipukdee, designer and founder of Dry Clean Only; and Voranai Vanijaka, columnist and socio-political commentator.

Workshops include creative writing with American author Christopher Moore and film critic and scriptwriter Kong Rithdee; understanding the algorithms that increasingly control our lives; repurposing old clothes; cooking with leftovers; sugarless cooking for children; vegan cooking; and multipurpose body balm making.

Numerous books will be launched over the weekend including two novels, a memoir and several major books on Thailand. There will be an exhibition on climate change titled "To What Degree?" and a screening of Mekong 2030, a collection of five short films by directors from the five countries downstream from China, followed by a Q&A session.

Concerts will take place in the evenings featuring a contrast of styles. On Feb 1, Hugo and Phum Viphurit take the stage, while Feb 2 will see luk thung singers Leew Ajariya and Hi Apaporn Nakhonsawan.

Entry to the grounds of Chakrabongse Villas is 300 baht (500 baht with a guided tour of Chakrabongse House). Thereafter, admission to all activities is free.

Museum Siam is on Sanam Chai Road and Chakrabongse Villas is on Maharaj Road. Visit bangkokedge.com.