Suthep Kritsanavarin – Profile

Suthep Kritsanavarin is one of Thailand’s leading photojournalists. His award-winning work has been published internationally in: the New York Times, International Herald Tribune, National Geographic Thailand, Geographical, Aera and Japan Times. Suthep has covered environmental, social and humanitarian issues in Southeast Asia for nearly two decades.

Suthep’s work is based on his firm belief that a photojournalist must act as a conscientious observer of society and culture. He or she has to contribute to social change on a local and global level.  He or she achieves these goals by working on a project over long durations to build deep understanding on the topic and to establish trust among the communities where he works. Suthep’s powerful images create in-depth documentary essays shot over protracted periods of time on his own initiative and funding.

Recently, Suthep traveled to Burma within a week after Cyclone Nargis that devastated the country. Suthep was able to visit distant areas devastated by the cyclone and chronicled the suffering of people caused by the military government’s actions or lack thereof.  His images bore witness to the destruction, torment, and despair not only caused by the cyclone but also exacerbated by the government.

In 2008 Suthep received the Days Japan International Photojournalism Award and was selected for the Best of Photojournalism award from the US-based National Press Photographers Association. His Mekong photo documentary was awarded a grant by the Blue Earth Alliance.

After the 2004 Asian Tsunami, Suthep co-founded and worked as the Photo Director of InSIGHT Out! Photography Project. The project teaches children to document their lives through photography in tsunami-affected areas in Banda Aceh, Indonesia and Phang Nga Thailand. He is the Asian Tutor for young Asian Photographers at the Angkor Photography Festival.

Suthep has exhibited his documentary photography in Thailand, Cambodia, China, Japan, Germany and France including; Siphadon Mekong Fishing Under Threat, Kuay and Elephants: Struggling for Survival, Life in Xinjiang, China and Hunters and Monk in Thailand.

Suthep’s images have been used by international and regional organizations for campaigns and education. The World Wildlife Fund, IUCN, the International Rivers Network and Terra are using his photos from the Mekong project in their campaigns about the impact of the construction of local dams in Laos and Cambodia.

His cyclone Nargis work received the Days Japan International Photojournalism Award 2009 and be one of the finalist for 2008 Care International Award.

His recent project on “Stateless Rohingya…Running on Empty” supported by Open Society Foundation. The project cover the migration route of Rohingya people from Myanmar, Bangladesh, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia and to Australia. It is on going exhibit tour in the region.

Click here for other Foundry Photojournalism Workshop teachers and information

Our interview with Suthep Kritsanavarin

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