Join Assistant Professor Edoardo Siani (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice) for a journey into the magical world of divination, revealing how religion, superstition, and magic blend into a powerful potion for Thailand’s Gen Z opposing the Prayuth government.
Since the Covid-19 crisis, divination has boomed among the Thai youth. Trendy bookshops stack piles of tarot cards for eager consumers, fortune tellers report record number of clients, and young practitioners become rising stars in the industry for magical services. Some among these divination-loving youth are actively involved in the protests against the Prayuth government.
While often critical of institutional religion, they incorporate divination and related forms of lore in their repertoire of resistance. They choose astrologically propitious days and times for protest, organize rituals to achieve specific political ends, and deploy sorcery against the ruling elite. Drawing from ethnographic data collected in 2022 Bangkok, this talk explores the political uses of magic among young activists and the discourses that govern them.
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NIAS; Nordic Institute of Asian Studies
NYSEAN; New York Southeast Asia Network
SSEAC: Sydney Southeast Asia Centre