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Our Involvement

Conferences and Workshops

The Society has held various symposia and international conferences, namely a debate on Sukhothai Inscription One in March 1989, an international conference on Culture and Environment in Thailand in August 1997, an international conference in 1997 on King Chulalongkorn’s visit to Europe a century earlier, and a conference on Heritage Protection: The Asian Experience on 25–26 January 2019.

In 2023, The Siam Society and SEACHA hosted a conference on the topic of “Cultural Wisdom for Climate Action: The Southeast Asian Contribution”. This conference, featuring civil society members, academics, and young leaders, sought to explore how Southeast Asia’s cultural traditions and practises can shape climate change adaptation and action in the region.

Owing to the successful outcome of the conference, The Siam Society and SEACHA joined the Petra National Trust of Jordan in co-chairing the cultural agenda of COP 28, the United Nations Climate Change Conference, held in Dubai.  To voice out Southeast Asian perspectives on how cultural wisdom can help us cope with climate change, we sent a talented cohort of speakers to bring Southeast Asian cultural voices with key international climate policy issues.

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Meeting on Kwang Luang Vieng Keaw Project (Turning old prison into public park)

Working committee on “Protecting and Transmitting Chiang Mai’s Cultural Heritage” led by Mrs Bilaibhan Sampatisiri, Senior Honorary Advisor to the Siam Society Council made a courtesy call to Chiang Mai Governor, Mr. Charoenrit Sanguansat to discuss the progress, obstacles, solutions, and future plan of the Khwuang Luang Vieng Keaw Project. Attendees also included Committee Members of Protecting and Transmitting Chiang Mai’s Cultural Heritage, Director and Expert Archaeologist of Fine Arts Department Regional Office 7, and the project designer. The meeting turned out with good cooperation among all stakeholders.

The Khuang Luang Wiang Kaew Project is a project aimed at developing a former women’s prison to become a public park. A contest was previously held for the site’s architectural design in which the result has already been selected by majority vote. At the same time, the Fine Arts Department needed to conduct additional archaeological excavations at the site and found evidence of multi-dimensional historical values. The examples of this discovery are the ancient walls of Wiang Keaw believed to show the royal territory of the Kings of Lanna, antique wares from 19th to the 25th centuries BE (some of them containing inscriptions that still have to be interpreted), ancient wells, and original base of some unknown architecture. There are also some built heritages of the latter age, such as the Payap District Prison Buildings, which was one of the first prisons in Siam developed to be in line with those found in developed countries.

“Heritage Matters” column by The Siam Society

a monthly series aimed at identifying the challenges and opportunities of cultural heritage conservation published by The Siam Society in the Bangkok Post (English) and in the Standard (Thai)

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