Art and Documentary Photography - Loading Moklen-reading-NGTH-caption-cropped.jpg
Pictures of the Year 2022 - National Geographic Thailand
athikhom saengchai
Apr 15, 2023
It is a great honor that my photo was included in the Pictures of the Year 2022 by National Geographic Thailand.

A young boy reads by oil lamp light at his home on Phra Thong Island, Phang-nga/Thailand, which does not have electricity. He is a member of the Moklens, an ethnic group living along the Andaman Coast in southwestern Thailand with its own language that lacks an alphabet. In the last decades, most Moklen people chose to abandon their identity and assimilate themselves into the mainstream Thai culture to avoid discrimination. Their language and culture are now severely endangered. Only a small group of older generations aged over 60 can speak Moklen.

A team of linguists and anthropologists are working together with local communities to document and revitalize Moklen language and culture as an empowering tool to enhance cultural assets and strengthen identity of this marginalized ethnic group, which remains invisible in mainstream media.

This photo is from my ongoing project since 2021 to document endangered language and culture of Moklen people, with experts in linguistics, anthropology, and archive management.

Athikhom Saengchai

Athikhom Saengchai is a documentary photographer and writer based in Bangkok, Thailand. His works focus on endangered culture and marginalized ethnic minorities.
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