This special issue is the most personal issue we at Rear Curtain have put together. Not so much because two of the stories are from RC team members but because all of the stories have a personal connection to the storytellers in some way.
Bookending this issue from Thailand are stories from a week Sabrina Henry and I spent in Northern Thailand late last year. What began through a just personal network of work colleagues and childhood and college friends, revealed our shared vision for the world. “A Small Step” highlights how the Doi Tung approach can solve real world problems. Respecting the intelligence and goodness of those needing help to change their lives for the better is so simple yet most of the world hasn’t ever tried it. But it works. “Grounds for Change” focuses on the story of how the lives of ex-opium farmers and villagers in the Golden Triangle were transformed by this approach.
One of those personal connections we made is with Chotiwat Lattapanit. He attended the Bangkok Christian College with Sabrina’s work colleague Titichai Navessin (both of whom we owe a debt of gratitude for our time in Doi Tung). I asked him to share his story “The Jaturamitr Way” because it reveals how lifelong personal connections reflect our own sense of values and how they can translate into a photo story with a universal meaning for all of us.
This issue has no interview or “how to” essay instead we decided to bring you a personal story on what one person is doing to make a living telling stories with his camera through one of the most traditional careers in photography. Photojournalist Jack Kurtz’s “Starting Over in Bangkok” is a short story on how it’s never too late to live your dream.
In “The Train Story”, we return to the tradition of pairing a writer, Fullbright scholar and Rear Curtain Intern Emily Kawahara, with a photographer, Bangkok-based Rammy Narula. In the arts we talk a lot about making connections and nowhere is this more prevalent than in photography. Yet rarely do we hear what that connection means or how it comes about. Here we can see how the photographs conjure up feelings and move a writer to create a personal story of her own.
No issue of Rear Curtain would be complete without a Noir piece from regular contributor Mark Krajnak. He dug into the archives from his many travels to find a fitting image for us. Although you can tell from its title “Old Shanghai” is not from Thailand, it gives a nod to Asian Noir and we hope it inspires storytellers to explore this genre for themselves.
A shared vision makes a lasting connection with people. It is a binding of common goals that can take many different paths but all lead to the same place: making stories that matter.
This is the Editor’s Note from our special issue on Thailand. We invite you to pick up a copy today using the link below.