The third installment of the ongoing podcast series, Bangkok is Ringing, is up now at Triple Canopy.
Or listen to it right here:
A slideshow to accompany the piece:
Bangkok is a hot, humid, smelly, flashy, loud city. As with many metropolitan areas, this is a big part of its appeal. Lots of people are doing lots of (very different) things in a small space. The bustle is fun.
But eventually, the stress of the crowd compels people of means to differentiate their experiences from those who have less. They want to shop and work in spaces parallel to those that have been overrun, where sensation has become for them overwhelming. So new channels are carved. The city becomes sedimented, with layers corresponding to something like class. Money, or lack of it, enforces access to these layers, but so do composure and habit. (This theme was also explored in the 1983 documentary, Trading Places). The third episode of Bangkok is Ringing explores what different layers of transportation in Thailand’s capital sound like.
Division is now very much at issue in Thailand. This episode is part of a broader effort to understand division – what it feels like, why it’s happening.