LeCool Bangkok

LeInterview: Philip Cornwel-Smith – Writer, photographer and editor

by David Fernandez

LeCool intv 13-1029

I have been involved in some form of publishing since my schooldays. My life looks like a direct line towards where I am now, but it didn’t feel like that at the time. For two decades I have been covering popular culture here in Bangkok. First, it was editing Metro, Bangkok’s first city listings magazine, then writing and editing Time Out Bangkok, probably the first Bangkok guidebook to focus on engaging with the city more than just being a tourist.
Thai culture can be mystifying, and as a magazine editor I got asked about the everyday stuff that gets overlooked and never explained. So I wrote Very Thai as a compilation of answers that aims to describe ordinary Thai street culture. Eight years later I‘m launching an expanded 2nd edition. I felt obliged to rewrite it due to the constant social evolution of this country.
A lot of questions boil down to the concept of Thainess. I would say there is a big dichotomy between Thainess as a description of what is, and instructions about what Thainess should be. Very Thai focuses on the realistic side, rather than educating people on how to be Thai as a fixed ideology.
I have needed to act like an invisible person in order to access so many different worlds inside Thailand, but I have to confess that I also need to be detached and enjoy living in my very own bubble. © PHOTO by Sergio Del Amo


LeCool Bangkok is part of the LeCool group of online what’s on magazines

Posted in: Reviews,