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Fatoni in My Memory

1 July 2018

2018 | 7 min

The region of Thailand currently known as the deep south, encompassing the provinces of Pattani, Yala, Narathiwat and four districts of Songkhla, was once an independent Muslim sultanate known as Patani or Fatoni, before it was annexed to Thailand by the British in 1909. The film explores ideas of historical injustice, especially the destruction of the region’s cultural artefacts by the Thai state, and traces them to the modern-day conflict that continues to wage unabated between a separatist movement and the Thai state authorities.  As the government has made little progress in realising the rights of the Malay Muslim minority, particularly cultural, linguistic, religious, civil and political rights, the denial of these rights is manifested in a conflict that targets civilians. While the Thai government has for decades taken a largely assimilationist approach to the deep south, the identity of the people of Patani cannot be erased, and the people will not forget their history.