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Cross-cultural pairs in week-long partnerships

“IT IS quite an unusual system”, said Polish photographer Krysztof Zielinski about Intersection, a project in partnership with the European Commission in Cambodia which enables 12 European and Asian photographers to work together in pairs for one week.

Participants were asked to create a series of dialogues about a set subject. Krysztof Zielinski and Kim Hak took water as their inspiration in workshops as part of Photo Phnom Penh, though it is far from easy to deliver 24 pictures each in such a short time.

“We discussed the theme, but we had no time to go around in such a short time, so we ended up at the riverside,” said Zielinski.

Frustrated that they could not discuss details because of the language barrier, he said the challenge still remained interesting.

“This project aims at creating a real dialogue between Cambodian and European photographers,” said Magali Poivert, who coordinates the event at the French Cultural Centre. “We are like matchmakers in weddings – they don’t all work out the same way. It is part of the project.”

Khvay Samnang and Kent Klich, who will work on intimacy, seem to be happy about this set choice.

“People are walking in pyjamas in the street, but they don’t hold hands,” noted Klich.

So the pair wandered around inside the Building, the soon-to-be-demolished apartments along Sothearos Boulevard that are home to hundreds of families. Step by step, they are gaining the confidence of the inhabitants, completing their project. “For me, it’s easier to photograph, but more difficult to understand,” said Klich.

The two artists are thinking of using an empty room inside the Building to show the resulting pictures to the inhabitants.

Meanwhile, Dileep Prakash and Siv Cheng are working on architecture; Svetlana Khachaturova and Tith Narith on fashion; Nica Junker and Neak Sophal on sports; and Raphael Dallaporta and Heng Ravuth on poetry.

The results of these encounters will be presented by the artists during the Europe/Asia Event tomorrow night at 6.30pm at the Royal University of Phnom Penh and during Saturday’s Night of the Year at 6.30pm on screens carried by “image boats” floating along the Tonle Sap river by Sisowath Quay.

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