A Former Prince Visits the Exhibition
Vacharaesorn Vivacharawongse, second son of King Vajiralongkorn visits Faces of Victims of 112”
112WATCH successfully organised a week-long exhibition titled, “Faces of Victims of 112,” at LeRoy Neiman Gallery, Columbia University, from 18-25 September 2023. The opening ceremony took place on 18 September, at 6 pm, with the founder of 112WATCH, Pavin Chachavalpongpun giving his opening remarks in front of 50 guests. Aside from the display of 50 artworks which told the story of 25 victims of Article 112 (25 pieces in Thai and the other 25 pieces in English), there was also a video clip including the interviews of some of the victims which was shown throughout the day at the exhibition.
The exhibition informed us of the human stories of these victims: Their engagement in politics, the cause of their arrest, the prosecution against them, and what they wanted from the Thai society and the international community in their fight again such injustice.
On the opening night, the organiser was honoured by the visit of Vacharaesorn Vivacharawongse, the second son of King Vajiralongkorn of Thailand. A resident of New York, Vacharaesorn expressed interest in the exhibition. He later wrote on his Facebook page, “I love and honour the monarchy. But I believe that ‘knowing’ is better than ‘not knowing’. Each person has their own opinion that comes from their experience. If we don't listen to their opinions, it doesn't make their views and opinions disappear.”
Meanwhile, Pavin also talked to the media stressing, “Maybe he wants to use this opportunity to convey a message to the palace that this is the way that the Thai palace must go, for the sake of the monarchy’s own survival.” Pavin also said, ”This issue was not about whether you are royalty, but whether you are human.”
Undoubtedly, the visit of Vacharaesorn helped put a spotlight on the work of 112WATCH. Equally important is the fact that it also put a spotlight on the problem of lese-majeste law. This is exactly the objective of the exhibition.