EVENT: The Mekong is Blue and Dried Photo Exhibition

The two-week photo exhibition that is born out of concerns about the ongoing environmental degradation of the Mekong River, and aimed at contributing to environmental and social advocacy for the Mekong River through the creative use of visual documentation and art amid the pandemic, by SEA Junction and its partners and supporter

The Mekong River’s fresh water fishery is highly diverse, with the great biodiversity only after the Amazon. It feeds more than 60 million people who live along its entire route. Among those are indigenous communities that depend on the Mekong for their natural resource-based livelihoods and as a source of income. However, their way of life has been under threat by the ongoing dam-building race since the first dam was built on the Mekong mainstream 30 years ago.

Today, 11 dams are planned on the lower mainstream Mekong, and hundreds more are projected on its tributaries. Cumulative impacts have already been felt by the riparian communities living downstream.

Upstream and downstream dams’ operations have blocked the natural rich nutrients and sediments and the water flows. In late 2019, the Mekong turned into a rare blue color instead of its usual brownish hue. The blue color of the Mekong reflects a “dead” river state for aquatic animals and millions of people who depend on its biodiversity.

Meanwhile, the networks of environmental experts, civil society, media and academia, tirelessly continue to advocate about environmental and social measures for the Mekong River.

Aiming to contribute to these ongoing efforts through the creative use of visual documentation and art amid the pandemic, SEA Junction launches “The Mekong River is Blue and Dried” a storytelling initiative to feature the photos and artwork series accompanied by short essays in the four main themes: (1) Environmental degradation of the Mekong river; (2) Destruction caused by dams and development interventions affecting the river; (3) Impacts on people and communities depending on the Mekong River for their livelihoods; (4) Stories of advocacy and how networks of civil groups advocate and try to limit environmental and social damage.

In addition to virtual dissemination through a special page on our website and social media channels, a selection of photographs and artworks from the visual stories will be showcased in the “Mekong is Blue and Dried” exhibition on March 16-28, 2021 at Corner Space, 1st Floor, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC).

In times that the Mekong has just dropped to worrying levels, we hope that the issue is brought into wider attention through this 2-week long exhibition held by SEA Junction in partnership with Bangkok Tribune News Agency and the Thai Society of Environmental Journalists, with support from Samdhana Institute.

An Opening Talk

The exhibition will be launched with an opening talk (in English) on the issue by the speakers listed below, on March 16, 2021, 5:30 – 7:00 pm at Corner Space, 1st Floor, BACC where the exhibition is held.


  • Anthony Zola, Independent Researcher
  • Dr. Carl Middleton, Center for Social Development Studies, Faculty of Political Science, Chulalongkorn University
  • Premrudee Daoroung, Lao Dam Investment Monitor


  • Dr. Rosalia Sciortino, SEA Junction

It will also be followed with the Media Talk (in Thai) on March 20, 2021, 1:00 – 2:30 pm at the same area. The talk will explore photos and stories behind in the photo exhibition. The speakers will also exchange the views and share experiences as the media and people who have been working and monitoring closely on the Mekong River, whether it be the issues in environmental degradation, people’s livelihoods and advocacy of the civil society.


  • Chanang Umparak, Mekong Butterfly
  • Thitipan Pattanamongkol, Sarakadee Magazine
  • Sayan Chuenudomsavad, Bangkok Tribune


  • Kamol Sukin, GreenNews

For information/reservation for our events, please email [email protected] or phone: +66970024140 Events are free, but donations are most welcome!


SEA Junction

SEA Junction, established under the Thai non-profit organization Foundation for Southeast Asia Studies (ForSEA), aims to foster understanding and appreciation of Southeast Asia in all its socio-cultural dimensions, from arts and lifestyles to economy and development. Conveniently located at Room 408 of the Bangkok Arts and Culture Center or BACC (across MBK, BTS National Stadium), SEA Junction facilitates public access to knowledge resources and exchanges among students, practitioners and Southeast Asia lovers. For more information see www.seajunction.org, join the Facebook group:  http://www.facebook.com/groups/1693058870976440/ and follow us on twitter and Instagram @seajunction

Bangkok Tribune

The indie and in-depth online news agency to “explain” and “inspire” people with constructive news reports on development and environmental policies in Thailand and the Mekong region, critical to public decisions, thus truly serving the public interest. For more info, see https://bkktribune.com/

The Thai Society of Environmental Journalists

An association of news reporting individuals who strive to report on environmental issues and the impact of climate change both in Thailand and overseas.  For more information, see https://greennews.agency/

The Samdhana Institute

Samdhana, in Sanskrit, means healing, uniting, peacemaking. It was formed in 2003 by a group of individuals, conservationists, development practitioners, constituting the first Samdhana Fellows; moved by the same commitment of ‘giving back’ what they know to the next generation; and bringing together skills, knowledge, experiences, networks, colleagues and friends; delivering maturity, strength and sustainability. For more info, see www.samdhana.org