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RCSD invites the public to join the launch of the book “The Social Life of Teak,” authored by Tim Webster & Virginia Henderson at the EFEO Chiang Mai on Wednesday, 22 November starting at 5:30 pm. Also on Thursday, 23 November starting at 1:30 pm (the next day) all are invited to join us for a half-day workshop and roundtable discussion with the book authors, historians, academics and researchers for a fuller look at the political, economic, cultural and social context surrounding teak.
In their book, Tim and Virginia have traced human interactions with the world’s most famous tropical timber species and have mapped worlds revolving around teak forests, trees and wood. In this illustrated anthology of oral histories, people connected personally or professionally to teak speak of survival, change and learning, creativity and destruction, growth and demise. Woven together, these experiences bring to light the ways that teak has been sought, crafted, cultivated, traded and valued over time. Exploring teak’s significance highlights processes of consumption and commodification, inviting questions about our relationships with nature and the politics of value. Charting the domestication of wilderness and exposing the era of extinction of a feted natural resource, this book seeks to stimulate conversations about our role as nature’s most troublesome offspring.
The book launch at EFEO will feature short a video presentation and small exhibition from Inson Wongsam, a Thai national artist renowned for his work using teak, as well as a collection of Tim Webster’s images from the book. Beverages and refreshments will be served; please register online here for either or both events on the 22nd or 23rd!