Bac Lieu Coastal area facing land erosion due to sediment reduction. People need to use temporary fence to re-plant tree in order to prevent the erosion, July 2018. (The Mekong Delta is facing predicament from Mekong upstream dams and extreme climate change | Photo: Ly Van Loi)


The two-week photo and artwork 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.

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 photo and artwork exhibition held by SEA Junction in partnership with Bangkok Tribune Online News Agency and the Thai Society of Environmental Journalists, with support from Samdhana Institute.

Here is a compilation of the most stunning pieces!

The “Mekong is Blue and Dried” is on display until Mar 28 at Corner Space, 1st Floor, Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC).

A fishing boat left on the parched Mekong riverbank, Bung Kla District, Bueng Kan Province. (Dams on the Mekong mainstream and adversary impacts to riverine communities | Photo: Tipakson Manpati)
Stuck in. Kandal Province Phnom Penh, Cambodia. (Mother of River | Photo: Sokchanlina Lim)
A woman collecting khai growing on pebbles in the Mekong River, Chiang Khong District (The disappearance of “Khai” river weed in Northern Thailand | Photo: Jeerasak Inthayos)
Luang Prabang city along the Mekong River is a UNESCO World Heritage site. (Luang Prabang UNESCO World heritage city is under threat of new dam on the Mekong River | Photo: Mongkon Duangkhiew)
(The Mekong River is in Peril: Transboundary Impacts of the Upstream and Lower Dams Threatening over 60 Million People | Photo: Chanang Umparak)
Kids involved in the protest against Ban Kum dam in Tamui village, Ubon Ratchathani Province, 2013. (Safeguarding the Mekong River for Future Generations | Photo: Kumpin Aksorn)
Evening time along the Mekong River at Tamui village, 29 April 2020. (The Threatened Picturesque Scenery of Tamui Village and Its River | Painting: Burachat Boaking)
The youth group collected some clams from the Mekong River after school, Kratie Province, June 2019. (Mekong upstream dams cause harms to Cambodian communities | Photo: Somnang Chann)
Krai Tree (Homonoia riparia) is a nursery place for fries. The tree is standing dead as the Mekong water level decreased unprecedentedly, Sang Kom District, Nong Kai Province. (The Mekong River is Drying Up in Northeast Thailand | Photo: Mingkhawan Thuemor)
“I have made this place my home from the very beginning”. She said. Losing one eye due to cross fire during the war but so determined to work for the betterment of her community, 2019. (Islands on the Mekong: Toward a community of sustainability | Photo: Chung Hoang Chuong)
(2015) Erosion –The remaining structure of one house in Cambodia, which was once located by the river, but collapsed as a result of soil erosion. (The Flows and Interference | Photo: Bangkok Tribune/Sayan Chuenudomsavad)