CURLS Summer School has taken a journey into many places in Thailand and also in Bhutan in 2016. With the collaborations of our partners, we have been able to provide a platform for change makers around the world to interact with each other in these wonderful space.
Chulalongkorn University (CU)
Chulalongkorn university is the oldest and one of the most prestigious universities in Thailand. It was officially established on March 26, 1917 and was named after King Rama V, who laid foundations for the modern education in Thailand.
Wongsanit Ashram was founded by a group of nonviolent activists who have been actively involved with the uprisings in 1973 and 1976 in Siam with the leadership of Sulak Sivaraksa, a wellknown social thinker.
They realized the importance of creating a place for spiritual refuge during the tumultuous time where socially engaged people can practice together mindfulness and nurture their spiritual growth as well as experiment with the lifestyle close to nature and society. The land on which the Ashram is located was donated to the Sathierakoses Nagapradipa in 1994.
Covering about 14 acres, the premises are located in Tambon Klongyai, Ongkharak district, Nakhonnayok, Central Thailand.
The donor, M.R. Saisawati Sawatiwat is a daughter of M.J. Subhasawati Wongsanit and M.J. Samor Sawatiwat who owned a big chunk of land in local area. Thus, the name Wongsanit Ashram is given in memory of her father. It has become a place where new generation of activists embark on their spiritual journey, a place where they can re-energize themselves after the long exhaustive struggle in different arenas. The activists who come and live here to get rejuvenated feel they have to return and contribute to society. The projects they have created do not benefit just inside the country but in neighboring countries including Lao PDR, Cambodia and Burma. The aim is to make Wongsanit Ashram a hub of alternative education which utilizes spiritual practice to provide for a basis of social activism.
Karen Hilltribe, Chiang Mai
Nong Tao is a Karen village located in the upper section of the Mae Wang river basin in Chiang Mai Province, Thailand.
Their beliefs and fables express the interdependence between men and nature.
The Community consists of 600 villagers from 120 families living in the forest area of 4,000 rai (6.4 square meters) for over 250 years.
- Man and Nature relationship
- Rotational cropping
- Community forest
- Tradition / Ritual / Folktale
- Livelihood of Karen
Karen Hilltribe, Chiang Dao
Ban Pa Tueng Ngam is a Karen village located between Prao and Chiang Dao districts in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The village lives on subsistence economy which promotes the conservation of nature. Even though Ban Pa Tueng Ngam is small, the community has helped maintain over 10,000 Rai (sixteen square meters) of forests.
- Subsistence economy
- Community forests
- Rotational cropping
- Tradition/ Ritual/ Folktale
- Livelihood of Karen
- Their struggles to protect their community
KLONG-YONG is a lowland area on the outskirt of Bangkok where is located in Nakorn Pathom Province, THAILAND. The community aims to produce organic rice and preserving the local paddy seed in Nakorn Chaisri field. They also applied many technics in rice field management to increase the production. Ban Chanote, Klong Yong-Lantakfa Community Enterprise was established here with the mission to produce organic rice with directly connects with the consumers and lift up the income of rice farming more than chemical-used or low quality rice. At present, this area has been converted to be owned by the farmers with land title deeds so the villagers do not have to pay rent anymore.
MAKHAMPOM THEATRE GROUP
Makhampom is known to Thais as a famous drama group that uses theatre, puppets, stage performances, traditional music and mime to help develop communities by encouraging local people to exchange opinions and ideas and take part in community projects. At the same time, Makhampom also trains local people and youths in the community to produce communication tools themselves. Whether you call it a large family, a nursery, a university or just a place that brings together people who love drama, Makhampom’s specialty is drama and the creative arts.
7 Arts Inner Place
With anthroposophic approach, it is indisputable that human being comprises of body, soul, and spirit. With this core belief, 7 Arts Inner Place aims to restore harmony and balance, and to heal illness with the system of anthroposophic medicine, under the supervision of the anthroposophic art therapist.
For people who seek to restore emotional balance, the anthroposophic art therapy carefully works with light, darkness, and color painting such as natural watercolors (Anupan‘s natural watercolors) charcoal, and others like claying, and natural holistic herbal bath, all specifically designed for strengthening equilibrium of body and mind.
Anupan Pluckpankhajee is the founder of the 7 Arts Inner Place, who is also an anthroposophic art therapist himself. He studied arts and anthroposophic art therapy in Germany. He is also a color specialist whose profound study of darkness and light follows the context of Collot D‘Herbois. In 2014, he was invited to world congress of art therapy in Korea and acted as one of Thailand‘s keynote speaker. Presently, he lives and works at 7 Arts Inner Place, his home and art studio in Chiang Dao, Chiang Mai.
Bang Kra Chao
Bang Krachao Island is an oasis right in the heart of Bangkok. It is visible from the rooftop of many inner-city buildings, yet little known to so many travelers.
Bang Krachao is actually a man-made island in the Chao Praya River. It is commonly called the Lungs of Bangkok due to the number of trees which eat up the city’s pollution.
In a rapidly developing city, this is one place which manages to withstand change.
Bang Kaew Mangrove Restoration Project
In the past 60 years, Thailand focused on economic growth as their National Economic and Social Development Plan was geared towards increasing production. As construction grew, the number of water channels decreased drastically.
With the rise of buildings and economic development, came increased flooding resulting in annual income loss.
The community learning centre in the mangrove forest of Bang Kaeo sub-district welcomed many visitors both from within Thailand and abroad who came to learn about the inclusive mangrove management that helped the community fought coastal erosion.
More recently, the community has received support from both government and non-government sectors to achieve more effective and sustainable coastal management