Exhibit to shine light on 'dry' Mekong through photos and art

One of the photos to be displayed. photo courtesy of SEA Junctions

The Mekong River has dropped to worrying levels, which is why "The Mekong Is Blue And Dried" photo exhibition might inspire the public to take the issue more seriously. It will kick off tomorrow March 16 and run until March 28 at Corner Space, 1st floor of Bangkok Art and Culture Centre, Pathumwan intersection.

Organised by SEA Junctions in collaboration with Bangkok Tribune, Thai Society of Environmental Journalists and Samdhana Institute, the exhibition features a selection of photographs and artwork that shows the environmental degradation of the river, destruction caused by dams and development, the impact on people and communities, and movements by civil groups on the issue.

The Mekong is the most diverse freshwater fishery in the world and has the greatest biodiversity after the Amazon. It feeds more than 60 million people who live along its entire route. However, their way of life is now threatened by a dam-building race since the first one was built 20 years ago.

Today, 11 dams are in planning for the lower mainstream Mekong. The impact has been felt by the riparian communities living downstream. The combination of upstream and downstream dam operations has blocked the natural rich nutrients and sediments and water flow.

Since late 2019, the Mekong has turned into a rare blue colour instead of its usual brown. The blue colour reflects "death" for aquatic animals that dwell in the Mekong riverbank and millions of people who depend on it for their livelihood.

The exhibition will begin with an opening talk tomorrow from 5.30pm to 7pm. The speakers include Anthony Zola, an independent researcher; Dr Carl Middleton from the Center for Social Development Studies at Chulalongkorn University; Premrudee Daoroung, a Lao dam investment monitor; and Laure Siegel, a freelance journalist. The talk will be in English.

There will also be a media talk conducted in Thai on Saturday from 1pm to 2.30pm. There is no admission fee to all events but donations are welcome.

Visit seajunction.org, email southeastasiajunction@gmail.com or call 097-002-4140.

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