DEN Conference - 2024

Speak up! Not Everyone Will, But DEN Will

It’s been over two years since I graduated from the University of Westminster, and if there is one thing that keeps me coming back, it’s the people at DEN and their annual conference. After missing last year’s conference, I still wanted to be able to participate this time around. It took a bit of time for me to put my head down and start thinking academically about what I wanted to present, but after a while, my old uni mindset came back, and all these ideas came flooding through. It always became a bit of a running joke amongst my friends and I that all I talk about is Thai politics, but as I am so passionate about wanting to bring change, it made sense to be the focus of my presentation.

My inspiration for this year’s conference came from my slightly experimental music taste. After listening to the noise album  “Kongkraphan” by Pisitakun, it inspired me to focus on the Thai 2010 Military Crackdown and if after all the protests and coup d’états in Thailand, what has changed. A lot of focus went into squeezing all the points into my presentation, but importantly for me, it was to have a bit of fun along the way. Playing the propaganda song of the military junta from 2014 and seeing some chuckles from students from the corner of my eye reassured me that every student present was so engaged and interested in everybody’s topic.

I always remember my first DEN conference in 2021, and much like everybody globally, we had to adapt and host it online. Whilst it is always daunting, you know that everybody is to support you and never ever to judge or assume. That overwhelming feeling shone through in 2022’s conference, and whilst the conference was much bolder this year, that spirit of collaboration and support is at the bedrock of DEN.

And while Farhang’s wisdom and determination are the brains of DEN, the heart is the students, who take their time to organise from behind the scenes. From the amazing lunch and dinner, venue, performances, and vitally ensuring it all ticks smoothly, this year’s conference is one of the best DEN has held and will only go from strength to strength. I commend every student who gets involved, knowing how far it has come from when I was a first-year student in 2019. (Which feels like an age ago!)

But at the end of it all, we all have stories, experiences, and knowledge. But no one will ever take notice unless you speak up. DEN lets you speak up when, sometimes, no one else will let you.

Jamie Greenfield

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