Benjamin Baumann

Tamnan Krasue – Constructing a Khmer Ghost for a Thai Film

German scholar, Benjamin Baumann, writes about Phi Krasue, one of the most well-known and most frightening uncanny beings of Thai folklore. Like most uncanny beings classified with the pre-fix Phi, Phi Krasue had no singular origin myth that reached beyond the local discourse, but that changed in 2002 with the release of the Film “Tamnan Krasue” which locates the origin of this uncanny being in 13th century Angkorian Khmer culture. This article offers interpretations as to why this idiosyncratic origin myth appeared in the aftermath of the Asian Financial Crisis and how it may contribute to our understanding of contemporary Thai-Cambodian relations. [...]