Luke Duggleby

Photographer
     
THREE DECADES OF AN ANTI-DAM STRUGGLE
Location: Bangkok, Thailand
Nationality: British
Biography: Luke Duggleby is an award-winning British freelance photographer who has been based in Bangkok, Thailand, for more than 15 years. Focusing on Asia, he has worked for some of the most globally respected media publications and NGO's producing... MORE
Public Story
THREE DECADES OF AN ANTI-DAM STRUGGLE
Copyright Luke Duggleby 2022
Updated Dec 2020
Topics Photography
Since the mid-1990’s, a series of intense anti-dam movements across remote Thailand caused a rural-based social awakening that lead to continued social movements of remote communities against injustices until today. These initial struggles, namely that of the Pak Mun and Rasi Salai dam in Northeast Thailand, whilst being unsuccessful in their requests to decommission the structures not only empowered communities to confront the Government and corporations but ultimately forced national companies to shift most of their operations to neighbouring countries where the civic space was more limited.
 
In 1993, the Rasi Salai Irrigation dam began to operate on the Mun River, a tributary of the Mekong River, in a remote and impoverished corner of Northeast Thailand. The reservoir flooded the second most important wetland area in the country, and is part of the five decades-long, massive Green Isan Project, created to reduce irrigation issues in the drought-stricken area. As a consequence, thousands of households lost their land, livelihoods, culture and identity. The disruption triggered a rural exodus and local conflict which continues to this day: thirty years on, village heads, activists and NGOs still fight for compensation for the loss of people’s primary food source, while trying to help the local population find alternative sources of income.

This protest movement was inspired and supported by the communities impacted by and resisting the Pak Mun hydro-power dam, built around the same time at the confluence of the Mun and the Mekong on the Laos border. In the mid-1990’s, the Assembly of the Poor, an umbrella-organisation of numerous communities affected by infrastructure projects and land rights issues, emerged to organise people to fight for participation in the process of decision-making which affects their lives.

Yet three decades on, the community of Rasi Salai in Si Saket Province continues to demand the remaining compensation for loss of land and income whilst struggling to adapt to an environment that has irreversibly changed.

This documentary includes images taken by local photographers and community members during the 1990's. These negatives, kept at the centre of The Wetland People Association close to dam itself were scanned and preserved with the assistance of a Earth Journalism Network Special Grant.
LinkedIn Icon Facebook Icon Twitter Icon
4,861

Also by Luke Duggleby —

Story

COMMERCIAL

Luke Duggleby
Story

The Maniq

Luke Duggleby / Southern Thailand
Story

ONE LAST STAND

Luke Duggleby
Story

THAI WOMEN HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENDERS

Luke Duggleby / Thailand
Story

TEARSHEETS

Luke Duggleby
Story

PORTRAITS

Luke Duggleby
Story

NGO/DEVELOPMENT

Luke Duggleby
Story

SINGLES

Luke Duggleby
Story

A Precious Land

Luke Duggleby / Loei
Story

SOUTHEAST ASIA'S DENGUE EPIDEMIC

Luke Duggleby / Bangkok
Story

For Those Who Died Trying

Luke Duggleby / Thailand
Story

The Wamon Anti-Mining Walk

Luke Duggleby / sakhon Nakhon, Thailand
Story

PROTECTING THAILANDS ROSEWOOD

Luke Duggleby
Story

Cambodia's Cardamom Forest

Luke Duggleby / Cambodia
Story

Sri Lanka's African Diaspora

Luke Duggleby / Sri Lanka
Story

A Village Under Siege

Luke Duggleby / Surat Thani
Story

Sewing a Message

Luke Duggleby
Story

Dagestan

Luke Duggleby / Dagestan
Story

SOUTH ASIA'S AFRICAN DIASPORA

Luke Duggleby / South Asia
Story

A Damaged Delta

Luke Duggleby
Story

Thailand's Illegal Dog Meat Trade

Luke Duggleby / Nakhon Sakhon Thailand
Story

Pakistan's Salt Mines

Luke Duggleby
Story

Emptying the Seas

Luke Duggleby
Story

FROM NO MANS LAND TO THE UNKNOWN

Luke Duggleby / Debiganj
THREE DECADES OF AN ANTI-DAM STRUGGLE by Luke Duggleby
Join us
For more access