Samchuk located in a small town

Samchuk located in a small town

The old market called Samchuk located in a small town, Samchuk, in Supanburi, was formerly a center of trade in the region. It was physically a big market square drawing people who crossed its surrounding. But, as time passed by, the once-striking market square seemed to started loosing attention from all people. The buildings were visibly decaying and the people thought about packing their bags to Bangkok. Fortunately, there was an investment arm called ” Chumchonthai Foundation ” to help this community people in renovating their community. Around the end of 2003, they started a project called ” Livable City ” which has an objective to rehabilitate this old market which used to be a lively market into a flourishing place again.

 

Fortunately, the town’s people already formed up a group to work on rehabilitating the market before the Chumchonthai Foundation gave them a help. At the beginning, they started with an activity which showed series of pictures showing old activities and story in the past, followed by cleaning and brushing up the market. This drew more towns’ people’s attention to come and help each other which finally led to this market rehabilitation project.

Living Market

Looking at the market conditions from outside, we might feel we are exploring some old tracks left from the past such as grocery stores, pharmacy, photo shops and also from old stories told by the town’s people. This made our team realized that the place that this town’s people were dreaming of was already there. So the interesting thing about rehabilitating this old market is to find a strategy to expose themselves. So, converting the old house which once belonged to the community richest person into a museum where the people could showcase their town history was carried out as the first experiment. This is also collaboration between the town’s people and Prapai Foundation which is an organization which helped them digging up their old history.

Also, the whole process let the people think, discuss and decide which would be the best type of museum for their community.

At the same time, rearranging some of the market areas in order to serve better functions an some other activities of the community and also for outsiders is one of the strategies in exposing themselves. For example, around Je Mon’s area has now turned into a local food center where old food sellers could come and sell their food again.

 

Living Museum

Khun Jumnong’s house was formerly a house where the community people would come, meet and discuss with each other when they had problems or even a party. Many people from this community still remember those moments. So they proposed that Khun Jumnong’s house should turn into a museum where everybody could come and do activities together, like a community center which also promotes their old history, exhibitions etc. This is not just the first house renovated but also an example for more future renovation.

 

From the strategies above, the renovation process finally got started which still remained the same old characteristics of the buildings and community. They have also formed up a committee to take care of this community in terms of the maintainance of their buildings and community activities.

Around the end of 2004, Samchuk community people had a Museum grand opening in order to reveal themselves that they altogether had already achieved their goal in rehabilitating their old market and turned it into a living place again.

All the processes they had been through together were recorded in order to use them as a tool to promote their community and remind themselves of everything they had already done, and hopefully an example for other future community development.