All Ends with a Beginning
4K/HD Digital Video, color, sound.
The film “All Ends with a Beginning” takes its point of departure in Bangkok's urban space, presented as a scene that is constantly cut off from its final act. Monuments that refer to a democratic past are seen as a threat to the country's identity and are quietly removed.
Thailand's Lèse-majesté law, which prohibits any insult to the monarchy, is among the strictest in the world. The law has been more rigidly enforced since the Thai military seized power in a coup in 2014 and many protesters have been punished with harsh prison sentences. Critics have consistently pointed out that the military-backed government uses the law to limit freedom of expression and the UN has repeatedly called on Thailand to change it.
In 1949, the English writer George Orwell published the novel 1984, a future vision of a totalitarian society, where the regime uses propaganda and manipulation to achieve control. In the "Ministry of Truth", thousands work continuously to change statements and terms in newspapers, books and films that contradict the worldview of those in power. Events are subject to change. People in opposition disappear, not just physically. They are erased from society's collective memory. They have never existed either in text or image. Those in power have recognized that: “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past.” "All Ends with a Beginning" is an art project about freedom of expression, forbidden words and thoughts in the city of Bangkok, where writers such as Orwell have inspired and put words to a cultural manifestation of activism.
Language is an important tool used by activists in all countries. In countries where the people are oppressed, the need for coded language becomes more important - precisely because direct criticism of the governing powers has serious consequences. In the novel 1984, Orwell depicts a dystopia where powerful rulers use language to manipulate and control public opinion without their knowledge. Orwell's novel accurately depicts how language changes in oppressive environments. Activists in totalitarian regimes must learn to communicate using euphemisms and coded metaphors to get their message across while avoiding reprisals from the authorities. By creating new symbols and phrases, activists can help create a common understanding among citizens of what they are fighting for. This common understanding helps to unite people and build solidarity.
In a political landscape where even non-violent demonstrations are banned, activists must think differently to avoid strict government censorship. The activists' creative response is to reformulate everyday actions into explicit expressions of an underlying frustration. A seemingly innocent performative gesture is anchored in a political conceptual idea - to confuse the Junta's "truth police". The performative mobilizations have been manifested in various ways such as noodle-eating gatherings, such as reading Orwell's 1984 in public places and through an extensive use of gestures and slogans from popular Hollywood films such as The Hunger Games. These actions have not only led to arrests and imprisonments, but also to global media attention. "All Ends with a Beginning" is an art project about a disruption of the formative structure of a dominant narrative.
Tanin Ome U-poon
Kenneth Korstad Langås
Morten Minothi Kristiansen
ALL ENDS WITH A BEGINNING
IS SUPPORTED BY
NORSK FOTOGRAFISK FOND