Very Bangkok – Philip Cornwel-Smith in Conversation
The India-Thailand connection: “Very Bangkok” is Philip Cornwel-Smith’s long awaited follow-up to his iconic book “Very Thai”. A longtime cultural observer of all things in Thailand, Cornwel-Smith is keenly aware of a construct of “Thai-ness” that is often quite different to the experienced lives of Thai peoples within their own popular culture. Using a non-Western, non-categorical approach in his new book, he instead looks at popular Thai culture through a multitude of senses. In this rambling conversation he discusses the historical and cultural connections between India and Thailand, Hinduism and Buddhism in Thailand today, why Hinduism has become more popular in Thailand, and how sex and alternative sexual lifestyles are viewed in Thai culture.
World Premiere screening & talk at Bangkok Design Week in TCDC on 26 January 2019
Bangkok Design Week 2019 opens on Jan 26 at TCDC with the World Premiere of World In Motion: Bangkok, a documentary series about visual culture that had its Bangkok iteration filmed in the city in 2018. Very Thai author Philip Cornwel-Smith is interviewed in a segment filmed at Wat Maha Butr in Phrakhanong, Bangkok, site of the shrine to the ghost Mae Nak Phrakhanong.
After the screening, Philip will join the panel discussion with directors/producers Graham Elliot and Roswitha Rodrigues.
Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand
Panel discussion on the future of streetfood in Bangok, after the city authorities start moving it out of some parts of the city
7pm, Wednesday 17th May 2017
An apparently misreported comment from a Bangkok city government official set off a storm of protest recently, when he was quote as saying all street food would be banned in the capital. The government has rushed to reassure roadside gourmands that this is not true – Bangkok is in fact planning an international street food festival. But street food vendors have been moved from some city centre areas, and the authorities say they will enforce stricter hygiene, and try to clear pavements where they are blocked, leaving lingering anxiety over the future of the quintessentially Bangkok cuisine.
The need to clear pavements and ensure food safety are legitimate concerns – but the BMA’s record of cultural sensitivity and flexibiity in enforcing its edicts is not encouraging. There are disagreements too over what defines ‘street food’ – some of the finest examples are produced in shophouses, open to the street.
Chawadee Nualkhair is the author of “Thailand’s Best Street Food” and writes the blog Bangkok Glutton.
Piyaluck Nakayodhin is the publisher of “Street Food: 39 Great Places Under 100 Bahts”.
Philip Cornwel-Smith, a freelance writer and editor specializing in culture and travel, is the author of “Very Thai. Everyday Popular Culture”.
David Thompson is a celebrity chef who has run several successful restaurants in Australia, UK and Thailand, including the Nahm restaurant in Bangkok, and is the author of “Thai Street Food”, a collection of this favorite 100 recipes of the street.
Join us for what promises to be an invigorating discussion with some of the city’s greatest street food afficionados.
In this Canadian documentary about Bangkok, Philip Cornwel-Smith is interviewed about transportation, as he is filmed taking six moves of transit as the quickest route across town.
Very Thai author joins up with Smiling Albino to research a Very Thai-style river adventure with boutique travel agency Smiling Albino called Liquid Bangkok.
How Hybrids Preserve and Project a Sense of Thainess
My talk on the cultural filters involved in Thai design is now viewable online at You Tube:
As part of the TCDC exhibition ‘hello World’, Philip Cornwel-Smith gives a talk today at TCDC on 8 March 2014. Called ’Very Thai Cultural Filters: How Hybrids preserve and project a sense of Thainess’, the talk goes into the ways that Thais are selective about what they import and adapt into hybrids.
Various Thai values, tastes and taboos act as filters to let in only part of the import while screening out aspects that don’t suit. This leads the talk to consider what cultural filters are needed in order to create designs, products and services that can appeal to the outside world while projecting a sense of Thainess. This means looking at what aspects of Thainess appeal (or not) to outsiders and how Thais might go about the tricky task of filtering their own cultural traits so that everyone benefits.
Tools to Untie Thainess: How I Wrote Very Thai
Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC)
100926 Philip Cornwel-Smith (ผู้เขียนหนังสือ Very Thai)
The Graphic Design Association of Thailand held a 2-day symposium on Thainess in graphic design, called Somewhere Thai. One of only two western speakers among the Thai program at Bangkok Art & Culture Centre, Philip Cornwel-Smith spoke about ‘Tools to Untie Thainess: How I Wrote Very Thai’, translated by Thai typographer Anuthin Wongsankakon.
Episode 1 of a 12 part series of TV5’s French Canadian documentary series about port cities. In French, speakers in English, including Philip Cornwel-Smith, are subtitled in French.
52 minutes; 14 Sept 2010. Producers: Nicolas Boucher, Etienne Deslières, Myriam Côté