You might have heard by now that one half of the Rear Curtain team is on the road and in Thailand for one month. We came here to find some everyday stories to show how much we are the same no matter where in the world we live. Also we wanted to give you a bit of insight into how we ourselves go about bringing together an essay or a story and hopefully encourage you to share something that’s close to your heart with all of us.
We’ve been in Bangkok for a week now, getting oriented and finding our way around. Monday was our first real day of photographing stories. We headed south to Pranburi to meet up with a Thai fishing boat that was just coming into port after almost 10 days at sea. Most of the crew are from Myanmar except for the Captain and the Engineer who are both Thai. Even though there was a language barrier, we still felt we were able to establish a connection especially since the Editor-in-Chief, Ray Ketcham used to be Chief Engineer on a fishing vessel in the Bering Sea many years ago. There is still more to do in this story which we hope to continue over the next three weeks.
Our first week has been spent meeting people at the Pak Klong (Flower) Market and exploring several areas in Bangkok. Markets can be found all over the world, from weekend Farmer’s Markets to more established locations like the Pike Place Market in Seattle or Granville Island in Vancouver. We aren’t sure if we will find the right kind of story here but it has been good just spending time with people and getting to know the culture in Thailand. People here are exceptionally friendly and it can be easy to just get a photograph and move on but the real reward is engaging with the people we meet. In some cases, we don’t even make a photograph and that’s just fine with us.
On our way into Bangkok, we stopped off in Japan for a quick visit with Rad Deverala, the photographer behind the Sabong story in Issue #2 of the Rear Curtain magazine. It was a quick but intense time together. The best part was finally getting to meet Rad who is an amazing storyteller and to learn more about his natural gift which stems from his own life experience and how he sees the world. There is a gratefulness that comes through in all his images and after meeting him, it was clear why. Thanks Rad for traveling more than six hours to see us; it was definitely the highlight of our stopover at Narita.
We’ve also had a chance to visit with Gavin Gough whose story on The Calligrapher graced the cover of Issue #1. Gavin has been very kind and generous to us and has helped us with so many details that are essential in finding and making stories while we are here. Gavin runs the Bangkok Photo School where he teaches his students about visual storytelling. Who knows perhaps stories from his students will one day appear in Rear Curtain magazine.
While we are on the road, we are still working hard to bring you Issue #3. Matt and Stuart are holding down the fort at home and thank goodness for technology as we are able to communicate via email, hold meetings via G+ and even make final editing decisions from here. If you have a story you’d like to submit for future consideration for the web or the magazine, please check out the details here. You can also reach us via email or through our contact page here. We are looking forward to seeing your stories!