Transcript: Thai totalitarianism?

VS: Interviewer – Verita Sriratana

PA: Petra Alderman


              This is the Nordic Asia podcast.


PA          Welcome to the Nordic Asian Podcast, a collaboration sharing expertise on Asia across the Nordic region. I'm Petra Alderman. Previously destined to write and I am an associate researcher at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies at the University of Copenhagen and a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Birmingham. For this episode, I'm delighted to be joined by Verita Sriratana, who is an associate professor in literary Studies at the Department of English at a local university in Thailand. Welcome. It's great to have you on the podcast today.


VS          Thank you very much for having me. It's such an honour.


PA          Very. You do have a slightly unusual background, so you are a scholar in literary studies, but today we're going to be talking about something relevant to Thailand. And as I know and I'm very excited about this, you're also a scholar that has devoted a lot of time and attention to Central and Eastern Europe, which is fairly unheard of, especially in Thailand and in Asia. So could you tell us a little bit more about your background and how it works together? Because I know that you have a Ph.D. in English and Literary studies, So how do you get from studying English to then working in Central and Eastern Europe and now kind of shifting your attention also to Thailand?


VS          My background is modernism. So literary, modernism, literature of the 20th century. And my emphasis is on Anglophone literature. My trajectory has been, well, I've got my B.A. in English from Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand. And then I did my M.A. in postcolonial studies in Warwick and a Ph.D. in modernism. My thesis is Virginia Woolf. But it was when I was a Ph.D. student that when I sent my first draft of the first chapter, not the whole draft, that's very early in my two years to my supervisor, Susan Sellars, wonderful, wonderful supervisor. She just said, you know, you should take a break, go somewhere, go to a country that you've never been before. And then I just want you'll be delighted to know I conference in Brezno for the very first time as a trustee, a Ph.D. student, and I fell in love with the language first.


PA          Just to clarify for our listeners, Brezno is an eastern area of Slovakia.


VS          Also, I was like, Why didn't I know anything about this region? And I started to read more. I'm fascinated by the history. So it started from there. Well, I came back, I studied the language. I'm still studying. Of course, I'm not an expert. So it started from there. And then when I started in Chula, because I did my postdoctoral research at Comenius University in Bratislava, I wrote a book about literary modernism in Czech and Slovak literature, and it's published by Comenius University. After that, when I came home to Thailand, no one was teaching or really establishing some sort of institute that devotes itself to the study of Central and Eastern European history or literature at all. So in 2014, when I started that to London University, I went to the Center for European Studies. I asked for a budget to set up the very first Central and Eastern European Studies section as part of the Center for European Studies. And I asked Visegrad four Embassies for support. Not many people knew about Visegrad four, and the university administration was questioning. I was I'm mad to think that there could be affinity in Thailand and you should go out for countries. But it turns out that it worked out very well. Even though I completed my term. I'm no longer the head of the Central Eastern Europe section, but we still collaborate with the embassies.



This is brilliant. Absolutely fascinating. And just to clarify for our listeners, the geographical countries are so that the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, it's a region that doesn't really have too many historical connections or direct connections with Thailand. And I remember going first time to Thailand being surprised to find Czech children's book translated into Thai on the shelf of books. So I had to buy one because I was like no other guy would believe me. So it's really amazing what you're doing here. But before I go any further into this, let me get back to the topic of our podcast today, which is truly fascinating. And I know that you're working on a book chapter that is very relevant to what's been happening in Thailand, and this is something that comes up periodically and makes international news. And it's always this thing about Nazi imagery being used in Thailand, Thais dressing sometimes in Nazi uniforms, this revelation of Hitler and really bad historical figures being used in a very casual, everyday sense in Thailand without necessarily acknowledging the historical baggage. All these symbols, imagery and signs have to be fact, not something that's just comes from ordinary Thai people. But also the Thai government has made numerous international photos by including Nazi imagery in government produced videos, and the same has happened quite recently also during these pro-democracy struggles in Thailand. But communist symbolism has been appropriated without necessarily the full meaning and the full appreciation of what that. Historical baggage has in it. That was by one of the pro-democracy youth groups that has adopted the communist symbolism as their logo. And I know that there was a big debate at that time, particularly on Twitter, saying, was it a smart move to procreate that because Thailand has a history of anti-communist struggles, or was it something that basically justified the government's posture response to these protests or not?

              Where does this fascination or seeming fascination with Nazi imagery and communist symbolism? Where is it coming from in Thailand?



This is a very difficult question because they can't trace the source of such fascination. Exactly. But what I can probably say is that, well, the research also proves Thailand has a strong culture of normalizing even to the point of glorifying dictatorship. There's a strong tendency among Thais to view Naziism and communism as only particular forms of dictatorship. And when dictatorship is normalized or even glorified, the insignia of past regimes like swastika, hammer and sickle naturally became something with which some people would feel fascinated. So I would say I agree with Chris Baker. Chris Baker wrote an article in 2016 where he and the last haiku end The Roots of Authoritarianism. But there's this connection that reference for dictatorship can be seen reflected in the political attitudes of Thai middle class. How or why Thai middle class their lives views? I shall not say that because we are actually part of it. Might be that time. Middle class lives and views have been shaped by its migrant origins, lack of sympathy or lack of affinity with rural Thailand that be number two, and also deep associations with the royal family, and not to mention anti-communism, which is set against the Cold War, this knowledge or understanding of the history of Cold War. So I think the fascination with that in communist symbolism can be traced there. Apart from Chris Baker, I would say that I'm very inspired in my work by Dr. Katja Rang Sikh Wake, who wrote research paper on the authoritarian personality where she use the concept of authoritarian personality propounded by Theodore Adorno and his colleagues were actually psychologists at the University of California at Berkeley in 1950s. I don't know, was trying to figure out, okay, why was fascism so successful in Germany? And he came up with this notion that, oh, there must be something in the personality of the people, for example, submission to authority being conservative, this sort of like strong adversary, this strong hatred towards those who break the law.

              So he listed out some of the things. And of course, Adorno's concept has been debunked. But I agree with Katja Runcie anticipate that when it's translated into the Thai context, very interestingly, this is the thing that happens, even though theories have been disproved, especially the Freudian concept that it's actually corporal punishment among children and distant relationship among family members in Germany that contributed to the rise of fascism. Right. That's debunked. But she said, well, look at Thai education, corporal punishment. The 12 core values, which is part of the education system, also contributed to such fascination, such love and reverence, and also all the romanticization of strongman leaders and dictatorship and Nazism and communism are actually part and parcel of that.


PA          Great point that you mentioned. These 12 values of time, as in is something that basically came out of the latest military government in Saddam that was in full power from 2014 until 2019. Obviously now it's the same people under the guise of an elected government. But the truth is that the military regime, especially this was something that came from the very top. So from general, who is still the prime minister of Thailand to this date, but it was this 12 values of telling us that he came up with and this was part of the revival of the why Thais so fascinated in Nazi symbolism, because one of the government videos that propagated these 12 values showed two boys I don't know that might have been, what, six, seven years old or something like that, really young boys applauding a painting of Hitler, which was very bizarre. And for somebody looking on from outside, it could be quite possibly. And I think with these kind of composition, something that comes up quite often, is this done to actually poor understanding of history? Is there a lack of education in Thailand that would really go into these atrocities fully and make sure that people understand that it's not about being just this strongman leader, which obviously Saudi, so as you said in itself has loads of them. So there is this natural affinity of Thais to was looking to perceived strongmen. But is there anything in Thai education that would really tell people these were really dark periods in the history of life?



I should say yes, because I also explored during the course of writing this research, I also explored history books designed for mature three students. So it would be correct me if I'm wrong. It's ninth grade, according to US system and year ten in the British system. So around 14 years old. Why mature three? Because it's the highest level of compulsory education and because it's very hard to get the hold on the materials. So I selected only like three textbooks and I explored there all in all, six certified textbooks implemented by Ministry of Education. There's an office called Office of the Basic Education Commission, which is under the Ministry of Education, and they're in charge of amending the content and also finding publishers to publish the book. The textbooks haven't been. I think since 2008. And of all the three textbooks that I read, only one textbook mentioned Nazism. I translated it. It mentions Adolf Hitler and I quote, as a leader who rose to power in 1933 and had implemented expansionist foreign policies which led to international conflict in Europe, leading to a second World war, which is bizarre. The way that the structures I have to say that I did a literal translation. So that's one mention. Another mention would be under the section, which is called Outcome of Second World War. So there is a mention of Nuremberg trials, which I quote, revealed the evils of Nazi regime to the global community. What's striking is there's no mention of the Holocaust at all in the selected textbooks. And when I talked to some of the teachers have friends who are teachers. History is taught, I would say only one hour per week. And teachers need to rush through the session to teach what they're required to teach. So in these textbooks, it really depends on the school. There's so many factors to determine the knowledge of our future.

              Our schools need to determine which textbooks they're going to use. And also it depends on the teacher as well, like what will they focus on? And of course, many people contacted the Office of Basic Education Commission, who was responsible for that. But I think one of the representatives said in an interview that there's no need to amend the content of history textbooks since, and I quote, History is factual and one cannot change what has happened in the past. She gave this interview right after there was this incident that the singer from a very well-known bad Yank wore this T-shirt with the swastika on stage on TV. So, of course, it has to be about our education. And again, how to reform education. Well, we need democracy before we can get education. And that's partly the reason, because the other reason is that now we're living in the world where students don't rely on teachers. The question is how to foster such curiosity in young people to actually propel them, to find information online and also to be more critical. I do online shopping. I went on the which is an online shopping platform, and I was browsing and I was looking at some bags and there was a store that sells assorted batches for you to sell to a bag of what? And there are S.S. Insignia, the swastika, and also the hammer and sickle on sale for 40 Baht. But the shopping platform also contains this place where you can review the merchandise and everybody reviews it. Wonderful. You know, But it's very nice on my back. Actually, the young people who did that, it's fascinating to see this. And also not surprising when you look at all the research that contributes to this.


PA          As you say, it's fascinating, but it's sometimes it's actually disturbing. Exactly. And disturbing in that sense in some ways. Is it fair to say that perhaps it's a combination of a bit of both, this kind of obsession with a cult of personality and having strong leaders, but also the insufficient education? If we think about the Second World War, it's something that challenge or Asia, which hasn't, at least in terms of Holocaust, hasn't been too involved. So it was more the Japanese occupation. Is that at least more on that? Or does that also get significantly overlooked?


VS          If you go with guns and robbery. My research also deals with that. And I was visiting how well a particular museum that I used to visit as a child. Well, no, a child, I would say like a teenager. It's called the World War Two Museum. It used to be a death war museum that really moved all the members. Hybridization of history would actually say only they perish. And you will see that in conscionable with the renaming of the river where to actually fit in the bill, the fit in the popular films, and also museum ization and also hybridization of history. You will see that there is a connection between ties. Well, adulation and glorification of Japan not know being and not having in discussion or in view that Asian laborers also perished should they perish in greater number than prisoners of war at that time. So when I went to this museum, there was this Buddhist temple like architecture within it, and you will see the statue like it's a stucco sculpture, a statue of both Hitler and Stalin at one place. And they're portrayed as heroes in the Buddhist temple like architecture. And so you will see that there's a connection between this adulation of kind of like pan-Asian master race, like kind of like the master race of Asia and the masters of Europe. And also not only that, the romanticization of Stalinist regime. So it's connected the museum itself. It's a good manifestation of such sanitization. Modification of World War 2 history.



It makes me also wonder, because obviously Thailand has joined the Second World War on the side of Germany and Japan, and that was during the time of the Marshall people who was himself and shunted with this fascist ideology in Europe. And he was a great admirer of both Mussolini and Hitler in Europe. So I kind of wonder whether this sanitization as well is okay in order to purge this not very nice part of Thai history from the kind of mainstream view and gloss over it in it in some way and just focus on these great leaders as opposed to the things that they've actually done and were involved in. But we sort of bunching two things together, which have been very different or have different connotations. So we're talking about Nazism and communism, which can be putting fully together. And perhaps in Thailand, when we look at it historically as well, Thailand did join the Second World War on the side of Germany and Japan. But then during the Cold War it was allied with the US and it was very strong anti communist country within Southeast Asia and it was never really overtaken by the communist ideology per say. So we're talking about very different types of historical periods, but also different types of regimes on some level. And Thailand's role hasn't been the same in both of these. When I like in the article, which I already had a sneak peek thanks to you, you talk about Nazi chic and communist cause. So where is this communist coup coming from? Because it wasn't called in the sixties, seventies and eighties in Thailand, and anybody leaning too much towards the left was persecuted to. We now know about the Mossad university massacre from 1976, where the right wing brutalized a left wing party. Very crude. These are the kind of things that are not the same. When we talk about the fascination with Nazism and fascination with communism. So how could we make sense out of all this?


VS          Well, I think history it's like a pendulum shift, isn't it? And you mentioned the six of October 1976 massacre at Thammasat University, where the word communists became a catch all word. So what other things with young people have in order to express their dissent to what's right wing, ultra nationalist group? So of course, to actually appropriate a reappropriate such traumatising a word that has been hijacked in 1976 to show their dissent. So I think that that's one of the things I can see in Pendulum Shift. My article explores how it kind of backfires. It can be seen as well communist trend among anti-government activists. It can be explained in terms of a counter reaction of decades of anti communist indoctrination during the Cold War. It can also be seen as another manifestation. Well, the risk of jumping to one person to another. So you will see how Marx celebrated, how Lenin, Stalin, you can see all kinds of t shirts that bare the faces of so-called revolutionaries. Also events that celebrate both Karl Marx and indeed Paul Mystic, who was actually alumnus of the Faculty of Arts, where I teach. He was banned by July lock on university. He actually was tossed to the ground at 2:00 on University Auditorium for publishing so-called Marxist leaning Communist Journal, which usually published in the form of University magazine, traditionally this university. Magazine was published to commemorate the death on 23rd of October 1910 of King July, long gone, the university's memorial namesake. But he inserted interesting articles, edited and included many interesting literary pieces which call to attention such like Marxist analysis, I would say, of Thai society. So he is actually punished. And now he's being celebrated by young people, which is understandable. He's called the Sheikh Rivera of Thailand. So the communist call comprises that celebration of Marx and also music, which leads, of course, not surprisingly, to what you have already mentioned, this usage of the hammer and sickle by the recent Thailand campaign, which caused quite a big controversy, especially when we talk about a Thai youth movement in

              connection with youth movements in Hong Kong and Taiwan. They view the hammer and sickle as lack of cultural, historical sensitivity on Thailand's part, and it kind of backfires as well, because when you use a logo, the logo should be unifying people and not segregating people. So I think it's a counter reaction, I would say to say in short, communist school, yeah, counter-reaction to Thai fascism, to the ultra right, ultra nationalist rhetoric that's been predominant in Thailand for a very long time.


PA          When we look at it from this point of view, it makes sense. And as you say, it's not surprising in many ways that there has been this swing towards community school as a response to the ultra right wing position, ultra nationalism, terrorism in Thailand. But there is a huge indifference and detachment to the trauma and violence. Both of these points, whether we're talking about this Nazi chic or communist coup. There is a huge detachment from the collective trauma and violence that they have caused so many people, and not just globally. And when we talk about Europe, but also with the nation. Where is this kind of detachment from the trauma and violence coming from and how can we explain it?



Such indifference can be seen partly in how the Nazi, Stalinist Maoist regimes, but the mass Murder Act, which are attached to these regimes, tend to be used as a pretext to support and sustain a person that he called the strongman. Leaders with crime of killing their own people is seen as necessary and justifiable. The statement was made in 2012 when former Prime Minister Abhisit actually watched it and unfortunately some people died, which shows this indifference to people's death as collateral damage. And he was acting on the 2010 Thai military crackdown on the united front for Democracy against dictatorship udd protests in central Bangkok, which left so many killed that so many missing persons, you know, created such devastation, such trauma. There's a connection. And I think that this begs more and more research, I would say. But there's a connection of the society's fascination with dictatorship. There is also religion, too. And I mentioned that. But there's also a dimension of terror about Buddhism and the concept of the accumulation of karma, which is not very different from accumulation of wealth. I did a questionnaire and some of the respondents said that Hitler and Stalin, okay, despite their shortcomings and this is such an understatement, isn't it? Depressingly so. They actually accumulated enough good karma to have their names recorded in history books and understand a bit of Theravada Buddhism. You will be like, This is not surprising at all. What is the ultimate form of personality cult in our society? It's also based on accumulation of good karma as well. What brought that particular men to the status that they occupy and hence leading to the notion that people who are not men, women or LGBT persons, they're actually karma deficient. You see that? Unfortunately, some people died. Unfortunately, some people were born not with that good karma or not with that privilege.

              And so the ultra right wing rhetoric would go would veer to what's this? And the fascination with Nazi insignia, Nazi chic in common is called kind of contribute to that and also is a reflection of that. In 2014, we could see there was a vigilante group online called the Rubbish Collection Organization or RCO, and it's led by Dr. Hong Nanda and how he projected this himself. And also this organization is quite telling because if I should quote him, he said that he sees himself as someone who is sweeps the dusty floor, who actually I would say clean up the mess, which is very well known. German proverb where there is cleaning shavings all fall said to be a favorite of Hermann Goering. So this echoed and you will not be surprised by many people who romanticize the Nazi regime. How Hitler. It's such a big misunderstanding, isn't it? How Hitler restored the economic power of Germany.


PA          The rubbish collective organization of ultranationalist ultra royalist group in Thailand, just to make that clear to. Our listeners. But yeah, we've been talking here about the right way and that connection in some ways makes more sense, at least logically. But how about the left wing and the communist core part of the equation, these pro-democracy students? Where is their indifference perhaps to some of the collective trauma and violence coming from?


VS          I was going back to that concern about a museum with the stucco figure in that Buddhist temple like architecture. The statue is actually enshrined by a written it's handwritten biography of both Hitler and Stalin on Stalin's part. If you read it passingly, you will see, like, what's the difference between Hitler and Stalin? Like he also made Soviet Union great and all these things. There's no mention of gulag. There's no mention of Holodomor. No mention of anything at all. As I said, pendulum shifts. And from my question there, from the question that that I use for my research, I would say that young people view Stalin as also the hero. I think one even used the word hero of the working class. So imagine that when the pendulum shifts. Of course, for a country that's so used to personality cult, where would you turn to if it's not the opposite end? Which option do you have as a young person with fragmented? I would say mine too. I studied in its high school fragmented knowledge of Second World War. And of course, the history textbooks mention Stalin more mentioned the Soviet Union more than the Reich. So they know more. And apart from that, it's so cool, isn't it, to hammer and sickle everywhere. Our neighbor countries to some people, even go to Vietnam. Some of the young people that I know to find costumes of the police there to kind of cosplay here. It takes a lot of research to investigate the left side of the story. But if pendulum shifts, indeed, then that can be one logical explanation.


PA          I guess in some ways it does really sum up the state of Thai politics quite well, because it seems that at the moment there isn't really a way of handling things in a very formal way. I think all the formal options have been closed off, so then there is no one there in many ways that more extreme options are sought or the form of channels for trying to somehow instigate change have been closed off. And we know that well, it's the outcome of the 2019 elections. But what can be done? Do you have any ideas? And I know that this is a very tough question. So what can be done to start addressing this problem of entitlement to both ends of this pendulum or extremes of the pendulum?



It's a tough question indeed, but it is a very important one. I would say it's about education, isn't it? We need to reform our education. We need to. Well, I think UNESCO's put it into the education agenda of 2030, that Holocaust and genocide studies should be part of organisations effort to promote what they call GCT, global citizenship, education and the agenda of it. So Thailand should do that too. And the Ministry of Education should listen to educators, to students, to academics. They should actually reform the textbook. So that's one Faculty of Arts. I have a colleague, Toni Serangoon, not Utoya, who teaches. She's the only person who teaches Nazi history as part of the Faculty of Arts. But that's for university level. What about management level? What about high school levels? Right. And it should be even earlier, I would say. And secondly, museum studies, a museum ization and museums, I think, well, Glastonbury has other wonderful museums, but again, the museum that I focus on in the research, the most popular one that many tourists would go, they should make it clear that it's not an educational museum, that it's more like a private collection because there are no brochures anywhere that can be found in that particular museum. So there must be some improvement that comes to museums that represent themselves as educating the public about Second World War. There are also this usage of social media to raise awareness that can be done too, because now I think young people should be our target because they're literate. There are future social media platforms. I've seen that with gender. Now that we were criticizing the Constitutional Court ruling, when it comes to marriage equality, young people use a lot of social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, other homepages to raise awareness.

              So I think this can be done. I remember during the pro-democracy movements activities in 2020, young people warned each other on Twitter to refrain from displaying any form of Nazi insignia During the anti-government afternoon rally in front of the German embassy in Bangkok. I followed the threat eavesdrop. So they're actually talking about how bad it is for people who don't know, you know, honestly using this Twitter and it's been chat a lot. So I think that there's a possibility of using that. And of course, lastly, since I'm very interested in Central and Eastern European studies, which would lead maybe possibly to another point that can can be augmented, I would say that materials. Coming from literature, films, books. Of course, it has to go through careful selection. Coming from Central and Eastern Europe would be beneficial to the understanding, to the knowledge about the Second World War among Thai students or the Thai public. I screen a Czech film called The Painted Bird, which really normally when we talk about Soviet materials, the things that young people like, oh, it's always about glorifying the Red Army, but materials coming from Central Europe, It just makes me think about this chess set, which I normally when I think about Central Europe, I think about this test set that I saw in the Slovak National Uprising Museum in Landscape Street. There's this chess piece made from bread. On one side you have Stalin that's king and queen and all the soldiers, and the other side you have Hitler. I always think of Central Europe as that particular chessboard. And you can see that if you choose the materials. Well, I mean, the painted bird, such a good material. Of course, it's controversial in itself, but it shows how the Red Army is not the hero. And Naziism is not all about German SS officers.

              There's also local collaboration. Some materials from Central Europe kind of deconstructs this sort of fixed pole up opposition between one extreme to the other. If it's selected, well, of course, because it's also problematic, isn't it? That can be one way that I would choose to promote through education.

              Before we close of our fascinating discussion, I just wanted to give you a bit of time to tell us about some other plans that you might have in this area and upcoming activities that you are planning. This chapter that I had the privilege of reading is going to be coming out soon, I believe. So maybe you can tell us a bit more than we can see and where we can see that chapter out and then some other planned activities. The article that I've just submitted, it's called The Land of Smiles Nazi Cheek and Common is cool. The subtitle is Personality Cult and Double Sided Holocaust. The Difference It Highlights. And it's published as part of a project called Identify Encountering Holocaust Distortion Lessons for and from Southeast Asia. It's supported by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance and the Heinrich Böll Stiftung Cambodia, and it will be published by the Never Again Association, which is based in Poland. I'm not sure when, but this is forthcoming. There will be online exhibition based on my findings on the content as well, and this is forthcoming, so I'm not quite sure. Maybe next year. So there are two things that I would actually do or forthcoming projects, and I'm very grateful to the Czech Embassy for their collaboration and their relentless support, which would be the screening of Slovak language film called DECA, which means the teacher such that during the normalisation period, precisely in the year that I was born in 1983, which featured a teacher and how she abuses her power in school, I wouldn't spoil that, but we actually are thinking of screening this wonderful film and it's by the director Yad Ship at the Faculty of Arts in September. If the restrictions allow and we will actually hold a post-screening discussion. I was hoping to invite experts in education to Thailand and also the bad student group, which is part of the pro-democracy movement. So that's one. The second forthcoming project would be that I will actually hold a talk on an interesting TV programme that I don't know if you've heard of this, but it's called Ros Fake Eagle Cashmere Sweater plucker. Oh, it's a Ross Buckley means embarrassment. But actually I would translate it as the dilemma of chef's buttock. Look, and this is interesting because I wrote an article about it in the first case, translation of That's up Havel's letter to Dr. Sock.

              And it kind of gained interest among Thai among young people, and they asked me to talk more about it. So it's a TV program. It's run in 1985, and it's about this shift. It follows the tradition of Kino Ultimate, this sort of first interactive film. It was conceived by Chinchorro that this film is played and you stop in the middle of the film and then you ask the audience, Okay, what would the character do in this dilemma? And the audience kind of like got this illusion that they could vote the next course of action. So this is the same thing with Chef sort of look, which was sort of the Czechoslovak television programme, and it shows this sort of affinities. It just makes people think about the kind of illusion that we have, that illusion of freedom at the ballot that Thailand has in 2019 as well is wonderful characters have lots of look at Google, which is an interesting combination because you have sort of like the first nine century Arabia in Google, which means what the kind of incident that he finds is so petty because the authorities at that time wanted people to focus on little, little things which bear such affinity with Thailand. We focus on material things and not question the authority, which is normalisation in Czechoslovakia. And also maybe we have our own version of. Normalization now. So that particular talk might be held somewhere in November at the Faculty of Arts as well as the public lecture. And I will also write as a kind of a chapter as well as part of the project that I mentioned.


PA          That sounds absolutely fascinating, and I'm sure we'll keep on the lookout for these fascinating events for your upcoming work. So thank you very much for joining this podcast episode. It's been a great pleasure talking to you and I hope you will have a chance to talk more about these things in some future episodes, which would be great. But thanks again for joining.


VS          Thank you for having me.


PA          Thank you for joining the Nordic Data Podcast Showcasing Nordic Collaboration in Studying Asia, I'm Petra Alderman, associate researcher at the Nordic Institute of Asian Studies and Associate Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham. And today I've been talking to Associate Professor in Literary Studies Verita. Great to see you tonight from a local university. Thank you very much.


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