The house of the Raja: Splendour and desolation in Thailand deep south

658359 By Xavier Comas

Forgotten in Thailand’s troubled Deep South, stands a dilapidated wooden palace once home to a Malay ruler, the last of his dynasty.Locals call it the “House of the Raja”, a place suffused with loss and solitude, laden with the region’s glorious past and tragic present. Intrigued by this demonised, yet little-known borderland, Xavier Comas chanced upon this mysterious house. Crossing the doorway, he fell under its spell and felt compelled to delve into its past. The caretaker, a Muslim shaman who held rituals inside, invited the author to stay and initiated him into its hidden dimensions. As he builds a bond of trust with the inhabitants of the house, the missing pieces of its history gently fall into place, revealing an ancient culture long hidden and the building’s ties to the centuries-old struggles in this contested region.

Comas’ evocative black-and-white photographs take us into a realm of hauntings, mystic powers and fading memories. His first-hand account enthralls the reader with vivid descriptions in which the real and the magical entwine. The House of the Rajaprovides a missing key to controversial issues of legacy, belief and identity in Thailand’s Muslim South.


Xavier Comas (Barcelona, 1970) a fine arts graduate of the University of Barcelona, relies on chance to create his works, using photography accompanied with writing to illustrate the bonds he builds with people and places.

Comas’ work has been published and exhibited in Europe and Asia, as well as being featured by prominent magazines throughout the world. The Singapore Art Museum exhibited his installation Pasajero in 2009 and acquired his Jiutamai series as a permanent collection. His work Tokyo up, down, a random photographic exploration in elevators, was exhibited at the Noorderlicht Photofestival 2011 and by the Museum of Estonian Architecture in Tallinn, Estonia.

In order to create his most notable work to date, The House of the Raja, Comas immersed himself in the Deep South of Thailand for over a year and returns regularly. The resulting images have been widely exhibited and are now published in this book, his first both as photographer and writer.

More opinion :

Categories: History

Pensejarahan Patani

November 26, 2013 Leave a comment
Mohd. Zamberi A. Malek
Malay Language


History and historiography of Patani as a Center of Malay Culture.

Bib ID 4274287
Format BookBook
Mohd. Zamberi A. Malek  
Edition Cet. 1. 
Description Kuala Lumpur : Penerbit Universiti Malaya, 2006 
xiv, 229 p. : ill., maps ; 23 cm. 
ISBN 9831003470 

Siri kajian sejarah


History and historiography of Patani, Southern Thailand as a center of Malay culture.


Includes bibliographical references (p. 219-224) and index.

In Malay.

Subjects Patani (Kingdom) – History.  |  Patani (Kingdom) – Historiography.
Also Titled


Categories: Politic Tags:

In Between; The Restive South (Photo Journalism May -April 2010)

September 16, 2012 Leave a comment


When the so-called ‘conflict situations’ in many countries around the world were reached the boundary of ‘war’ and people fed up with the loss and grievance, the peace-building process would become clearly with the goals to achieve. Unlike the restive situations in the Deep South of Thailand, which is still ‘in between’ whether to defy them just the ‘battle’ or complete ‘warfare’? For this reason, the peace-building process in the Deep South call on more powerful creativity and contribution from everyone involved, in the hope to change the hotbed of violence into one peaceful place where people can live in co-existence. Thus, the obligations of Deep South photographers in recording and reflecting various states of people and community would be related to the important question in mind; ‘How shall we live together?’ Furthermore, the empowerment of the Deep South media, especially Photographers Networks can be one factor in peace-building processes, as the collection of the Deep South related images can be used in finding a comprehensive imagination to the ‘future Deep South’ which all people are hoping and longing for.”

Categories: Politic

Islamic Studies in ASEAN: Presentation of an International Seminar

November 29, 2011 Leave a comment

Editorial Team

Dr. Isma-ae Alee

Dr.Hasan Madman

Dr. Imtiyaz Yusuf

Mr. Yusof Talek

Ms. Airin Sa-idi

Mr. Muhammad Roflee Waehama

Mr. Ibrahim Narongraksaket

Published by  College of Islamic Studies, Prince of Songkla University, Patani Cmpus,  Thailand – Year 2000-

ISBN No:  974-644-084-5

Telok Manok Mosque

This volume  is a collection of papers presented  at International Seminar of Islamic Studies in Asean:  History, Approaches and Future Trends

25-28 June 1998

Organized by College of Islamic Studies, Prince of SongklaUniversity, Pattani Cmpus,Thailand


Categories: Politic

Conflict in Southern Thailand Islamism, Violence and the State in the Patani Insurgency

November 13, 2011 Leave a comment

This paper is one of the products of a larger SIPRI research project, Conflict, Islam and the State-Nation: New Political and Security Challenges, kindly supported by the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. In it, Dr Neil Melvin seeks to unravel these different strands of the Patani conflict and to shed light on its dynamics. He warns that the insurgents are now gaining the upper hand and it will be hard to stop the conflict escalating still further. The case is strengthening, therefore, for the international community to intervene, over and above the expressions of concern that have already come from Thailand’s neighbours. I am grateful to Dr Melvin for this original and illuminating study, and to Caspar Trimmer for the editing.

Alyson J. K. Bailes
Director, SIPRI
August 2007

Tearing Apart the Land: Islam and Legitimacy in Southern Thailand

October 30, 2011 Leave a comment
Reviewed by By Andrew J. Nathan
Based on a year’s fieldwork, interrogation records, and anonymous leaflets, among other sources, this book argues that Thailand’s overcentralized state failed to give meaningful participation to ethnically Malay Muslim citizens.McCargo’s close study of the origins of militancy in three southern Thai provinces carries clues to the problem of state-minority relations all over Asia. Based on a year’s fieldwork, interrogation records, and anonymous leaflets, among other sources, McCargo’s book argues that Thailand’s overcentralized state failed to give meaningful participation to ethnically Malay Muslim citizens. The resulting popular alienation led to the violence that has been going on in Thailand since 2001. Former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s regime, although popularly elected, was especially inept in relations with local minorities. The chapter on police and army action is a case study on how to make local insurgencies worse instead of better. In McCargo’s account, Islamic identity provided a frame — but not the motive — for the militant movement. But if autonomy short of independence is the demand of many groups in Asia, it remains unclear to McCargo, and perhaps to the southern Thai militants themselves, how much local participation is enough to stem this kind of violence once it starts.
PUBLISHERCornell University Press
PAGES264 pp.

Operation Nasi Kerabu – Finding Patani In An Islamic Insurgency

October 5, 2011 Leave a comment

Author: Zan Azlee

Publisher: ZI Publications

Ratings: 7/10


FOR Zan Azlee, life in war-torn Patani wasn’t at all the way he expected it to be.  The citizens are Muslims, they are Bahasa-speaking, baju melayu-wearing Malays, like many from his home country Malaysia.

With the aim of documenting the real Patani, Zan sets off to seek the difference between the kedai kopihumvees and gunfights from the nasi kerabu.

With the help of fellow journalist and fixer Daniya, he goes on a journey that asks the question ‘how do people live in a warzone’?

Starting off on a more cautious note, writer, broadcaster and journalist Zan becomes more curious and braver as he progresses with his documentary. From his many encounters with people in Patani, he learns different sides of living in warzone.

An interesting and easy read, the book also includes a DVD of the documentary which was banned by the prime minister’s office.

This is a good book for those interested in realities of war and the brave people going through their lives every day in a war-torn zone.

Operation Nasi Kerabu: Finding Patani In An Islamic Insurgency, published by ZI Publications, is available at all major bookstores and comes with a DVD of the documentary, The Life And Times Of An Islamic Insurgency. You can follow the further adventures of Zan Azlee at

Categories: Politic

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,230 other followers

%d bloggers like this: