“I Am not Here for Fun”: The Satirical Facebook Group Royalists Marketplace, Queer TikToking, and the New Democracy Movement in Thailand

An Interview With Pavin Chachavalpongpun

  • Wolfram Schaffar
Keywords: Facebook, Queer/LGBTIQ, Students' Movement, Thai Monarchy, TikTok

Abstract

Pavin Chachavalpongpun is an associate professor at the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at Kyoto University. He has published extensively on Thailand and Southeast Asian politics. He is also politically active and does not shy away from discussing and criticizing the monarchy, which for a long time was taboo – in academia as well as in political campaigns. In April 2020, Prof. Pavin Chachavalpongpun founded the Facebook group Royalists Marketplace (รอยัลลิสต์มาร์เก็ตเพลส). The name alludes to other Facebook groups, like the Chulalongkorn Marketplace or Thammasat Marketplace, which were set up by former students of those universities as platforms for selling and purchasing items, and socializing in times of the COVID-19 lockdown. Pavin’s group, however, is a persiflage of these initiatives. He developed a unique style of political communication, with a distinct mixture of memes, TikTok and Youtube videos, together with serious academic debates, which made his Facebook group the leading platform for criticism of the monarchy. This interview took place via Zoom between Kyoto and Cologne at the end of August 2020. Information on the dynamic developments that have unfolded since then has been added.

References

Beech, H. (2020). Facebook plans legal action after Thailand tells it to mute critics. The New York Times, August 25, 2020. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/25/world/asia/thailand-facebookmonarchy.html

Einzenberger, R., &Schaffar, W. (2018). The political economy of new authoritarianism in Southeast Asia. Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies, 11(1), 1-12.

Patpicha Tanakasempipat, & Johnson, K. (2020). “Illegal thoughts”: How some exiled critics of Thai king are fueling a revolt. Reuters, August 10, 2020. Retrieved from https://cn.reuters.com/article/us-thailand-protestsexiles/illegal-thoughts-how-some-exiled-critics-of-thai-king-are-fuelling-a-revolt-idUSKBN2603HS

Pavin Chachavalpongpun. (2020a). The Royalists Marketplace: the supply and demand for dissent in Thailand. New Mandala, May 4, 2020. Retrieved from https://www.newmandala.org/the-royalistsmarketplace-the-supply-and-demand-for-dissent-in-thailand/

Pavin Chachavalpongpun. (2020b). An entire generation in Thailand is counting on Facebook to do the right thing. The Washington Post, August 28, 2020. Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/08/28/an-entire-generation-thailand-is-counting-facebook-do-right-thing/

Schaffar, W. (2016). New social media and politics in Thailand: The emergence of fascist vigilante groups on Facebook. Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies, 9(2), 215-234.

Sontag, S. (1964). Notes on “Camp”. Partisan Review, 31(4), 515-530.

Published
2020-11-23
How to Cite
Schaffar, W. (2020) “‘I Am not Here for Fun’: The Satirical Facebook Group Royalists Marketplace, Queer TikToking, and the New Democracy Movement in Thailand ”, Austrian Journal of South-East Asian Studies. doi: 10.14764/10.ASEAS-0039.
Section
In Dialogue