HRDs being interviewed by journalists



20 December 2016

About the project:

‘For those who died trying’ presents the photographs of 37 murdered or abducted human rights defenders in Thailand. This project by Protection International looks to remember those who died defending human rights and protecting the environment by placing a portrait of the human rights defender, when possible, at the exact place he or she was murdered or abducted.

The photographs of the 37 murdered or abducted Thai Human Rights Defenders (HRDs) were taken by the British photographer Luke Duggleby. Duggleby traveled across north, south, and north-east of Thailand to capture the photographs, and in doing so raise awareness on the plight of human and environmental defenders in the country. The accompanying music is a composition by Canadian musician Frank Horvat.

Protection International opened the ‘For Those Who Died Trying’ exhibition at Place des Nations in Geneva on 9 May 2016 to coincide with the United Nations Universal Periodic Review on Thailand. The project was co-sponsored by the Swedish International Development Agency (SIDA) and the exhibition in Thailand was supported by the Canadian Government.

Check out The New York Times article about the exhibition, Murdered After Defending Thailand’s Environment


For Those Who Died Trying Online Gallery

Since October 2021, the exhibition ‘For Those Who Died Trying’ is now accessible via HaRD STORIES, a website amplifying the voices of Human rights defenders and community groups in Thailand and beyond through visual storytelling and constructive journalism.

You can find the online exhibition here.


For Those Who Died Trying music album

2018 saw further artistic development of this project, with the release of the classical music album ‘For Those Who Died Trying’.

Canadian composer, Frank Horvat (, composed the 70-minute, 35-movement piece, The Thailand HRDs, based on each photo in Luke Duggleby’s photo essay, For Those Who Died Trying. Each movement presents one photo in a 2-minute classical string-quartet composition utilizing just the musical pitches/letters found in the names of each victim – implanting their unique musical DNA in every piece.

“This music is not intended to be purely melancholic but has a tinge of defiance so the memory of these heroes lives on and will hopefully spur listeners to find their inner activist and fight for what they feel is important in this world,” explains Frank Horvat, the composer.

After its launch, the album grew into the international campaign #music4HRDs, with the classical music community raising awareness on the plight of HRDs through the performance of movements from For Those Who Died Trying. This initiative is the first campaign that unifies music and the work of HRDs.



  • World Premiere: August 6, 2018, Toronto, Canada Mivos Quartet – Olivia De Prato (violin), Lauren Cauley Kalal (violin), Victor Lowrie Tafoya (viola), Mariel Roberts (cello)
  • European Premiere: May 20, 2019, Brussels, Belgium Tana Quartet – Antoine Maisonhaute (violin), Ivan Lebrun (violin), Maxime Desert (viola), Jeanne Maisonhaute (cello)



  • 9-11 May 2016 – Place des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland
  • 26-30 September 2016 – European Parliament, Brussels, Belgium
  • 17-23 October 2016 – Casa de la Juventud, Pamplona, Spain
  • 29 November  – 1st Beneficiaries meeting
  • 15-29 January 2017 – DOOR, Dordrecht, Netherlands
  • 3 March – 3 April  2017 – Cultuurcentrum Mechelen, Mechelen, Belgium


  • 31 January to 5 February 2017 – Bangkok Art & Culture Center, Bangkok
  • 4-12 February 2017 – Think Park, Chiang Mai
  • 7-12 February 2017 – Prince of Songkla University, Tambon Koh Hong, Amphoe Hat Yai, Chang Wat Songkhla
  • 21-25 February 2017 – Mahasarakham University, Issaan

Media coverage from the event (in Thai):

Thailand, the official residence of H.E. Ms. Donica Pottie ambassador of Canada to the Kingdom of Thailand

Selected pieces of “For Those Who Died Trying” are featured at the official residence of H.E. the ambassador of Canada in Thailand for the “16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence” campaign and Canada’s National Day of Remembrance and Action on Violence Against Women.

The photos were displayed during a lunch for women human rights defenders event to mark International Human Rights Day on Thursday, December 8th, 2016 at the official residence of the ambassador of Canada.