(Above, Jai’s book แล้ว and then entwine and a picture of Jai)
They came to speak at Benson Auditorium to talk about their art focusing on Toms and Trans people in Thailand. They showed us one video of their experience in Thailand, which I’m not sure if I’m right, but I interpreted their dancing as an explorative journey not only through their own identity, but also through a new connection with Thailand. Through their kindling a connection with a seemingly unfamiliar homeland and what I see as a journey understanding an intersection between identity recognition in the US with an identity recognition in Thailand. I say “recognition” I am trying to indicate a sense of maybe development or understanding one’s identity. I also understood their work about Christy, a white woman often performing Thai-ness, as a struggle with the meaning of authenticity and what it means to “perform a culture.”
I enjoyed their art because I felt that there was a concreteness in it that I could grasp. Often art that I want to understand, I really can’t grasp what they are trying to say. I felt, maybe falsely, that I understood what Jai was saying. Also, when eating dinner with them, I really valued their interest in our lives being at the Claremont Colleges which sometimes I find that speakers don’t really want to hear about us, they just want to tell us about them. It was really refreshing to see their work, I hope I get a chance to read their book.