Monday, August 15, 2016

The End is in Sight

An elderly resident of the Pom Mahakan community waits to be served eviction papers while city officials gather in front of the old fort. 

I think the end is in sight for the residents of the Pom Mahakan community. They've been fighting eviction efforts by Bangkok city officials for decades but early Monday city officials put up big eviction notices near all of the entrances to the community. 
Residents of the community wash a motorcycle. Well, one washed the bike, the other checked his smart phone. 

I've been photographing in Pom Mahakan for months now. The latest effort to save the community, a plan to turn it into a living history museum, was not well received by the city and residents have until September 3 to get out. A couple of families have already moved out and some people in the old fort said they would accept the city's offer and vacate their homes. But most of the residents said they plan to stay and would fight city efforts to relocate them. 
A woman grills Thai sausages (more like hot dogs) and pork balls in her home in Pom Mahakan. 

The residents of Pom Mahakan have used up all of their options. Everyone knew this day was coming but that doesn't make it any easier. 
Thai civil servants prepare to put up eviction notices. 

While residents of the fort wait for them. 

I will go down to the fort a couple of times each week before the September 3 deadline. The community in the fort is considered a slum, a word that conjures up images of crime and gangs. But I have never had a problem there, the people who live in Pom Mahakan have opened their lives and their homes to me. 
The fort was an early center of cockfighting in Bangkok. They don't stage cockfights there anymore but there are still a couple of families in the fort that breed fighting cocks. 
Girls walk through Pom Mahakan after buying soft drinks from a convenience shop in the fort. 

Pom Mahakan is another Bangkok institution that's being swept aside in the name of progress. Like the market in Bang Chak, the community at Wat Kanalaya, the food stalls at Soi 38, all swept aside in the name of progress.
City officials put up the eviction notice. 

A woman yells at city officials after the eviction notices were put up. 


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