chapter  9
13 Pages

Making place within a geopolitical frontier

Mae Aw (Ban Rak Thai)
WithCarl Grundy-Warr, Jessica Teo, Jun Chin Wei

We examine place-making on a borderline within a large geopolitical frontier known as the ‘Golden Triangle’. Focusing on Mae Aw (Ban Rak Thai), Thailand’s northwest province of Mae Hong Son, we trace how decades of contestation during the Cold War has led to the formation of a new home for different cross-border migrants, particularly soldiers and families of the Kuomintang (KMT), Shan, and Wa migrants during periods of fighting between rival ethnic and Cold War factions in the Shan State of northeast Myanmar. Through the stories of these people we understand how and why border-crossings make place and how and why new cultural homes are forged through geopolitics and movement on the edges of national geo-bodies.