The Bangkok Art and Culture Centre during Bangkok political crisis, May 2010.



The Bangkok Art and Culture Centre during Bangkok political crisis, May 2010.

The BACC is located one block away from the protest site, the Raiprasong intersection, which became the main venue after the clash at Kok Woa intersection on 10th April. Thereafter, there began to appear the barricade structure opposite the Art Centre consisting of sharpened bamboo poles and tyres.

During this time the Centre remained open, but with tightened security measures. From the beginning of May, various events planned for the period were cancelled, but the exhibitions on the upper floors and the 3rd and 4th floors were still on view, with perhaps half the number of visitors in a typical week. A number of protest members came to visit the BACC, including using the library. However, attempts were made to take newspapers out of the library without permission.

The BACC forecourt saw activities of various peace groups, especially the Whiteshirts, mounting campaigns for peaceful solution to the conflict. The conflict became intensified, and by 13th May the BTS train service was no longer running, nor the roads around the Centre namely the Phyathai and Rama I, were accessible, the BACC was therefore ordered to be closed (14 – 24 May). There were some twenty staff members remaining in the building at all times.

The afternoon of the 14th saw the height of the crisis: protesters were fleeing the Rajprasong area in the direction of the Centre. The BACC staff members helped directing them to safety towards waiting buses provided by the authority (19th May). The BACC building was not damaged in the incident, except for a hole, possibly punctured by a bullet, in the laminated glass railing connecting it to the BTS station.

The BACC has now been open since 25th MAY.

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