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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Projection of top pieces launches Angkor photo fest

Projection of top pieces launches Angkor photo fest

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

SIEM REAP

Angkor Photo Festival opened Sunday with a slide show showcasing the work of upcoming photographers selected by field expert Christian Caujolle

Photo by: Peter Olszewski

Christian Caujolle in Siem Reap.

Monday's Program

Exhibits opening at 6pm at the McDermott Gallery

  • "Life is Elsewhere" by Sohrab Hura
  • "Rohingya Refugees - Illegal Immigrants from Myanmar, Bangladesh" by Munem Wasif
  • "Burma: A Flameless Inferno" by James Whitlow

THE fourth Angkor Photography Festival launched Sunday night at the FCC in Siem Reap with a projection of a broad range of outstanding photos from around the world collated by French photography expert and academic heavyweight Christian Caujolle.

The show was sweepingly titled "Carte Blanche", and Caujolle had a free hand in serving up whatever photographs took his fancy, including some filmed footage.

He told the Post that he exploited his free hand to the maximum, choosing from black-and-white and colour, from negative and positive aspects, purposefully avoiding any theme or overall binding together of his selection of photography.

"There is no theme at all," he said, "But the way I made my selection was to think about what does documentary photography mean today?"

But Caujolle conceded there was one common threat running through his show, in that all the photographers were young, upcoming professionals.

"All the photographers I chose are young people, they are mostly under 30 years of age, and they are from a lot of different countries and cultures. What I also wanted to show was that documentary photography does not follow one direction, such as reportage, but there are many different aesthetics used to document the modern world without highlighting or showing one unique aspect of that world," he said.

Points of view

"The first 12 minutes of the show is by a Danish photographer working in Sweden after the fall of the Berlin Wall and the breakup of the Soviet Union," he said.

"The guy set out to show how the eastern border of Europe has changed, from the White Sea in the north to the Black Sea in the south," he added.

"He did this reportage in colour panoramic photography, which is very difficult, and it is neither positive nor negative. It just presents a point of view about contemporary changes in the world, and that's what I'm interested in."

When it comes to photography, Caujolle - also the artistic director of the Photo Phnom Penh festival starting next week - certainly knows his profession well, and his credentials are, as they say, impeccable.

There are many different aesthetics used to document the modern world.

Caujolle was a student and associate of internationally famous photographers, including Michel Foucault, Roland Barthes and Pierre Bourdieu, and he is currently an associate professor at the Ecole Nationale Superieure Louis Lumiere, a position he took up in 2005.

He was also the chief picture editor with the newspaper Liberation from 1981 to 1986, founder of the photo agency VU, which he directed between 1986 and 2006, and director of the Galerie VU since 1998.

He has curated numerous international exhibitions, published monograph studies of Jacques Henri Lartigue, William Klein and Raymond Depardon, contributed to various catalogues and is currently the director of the Voir et Dire and Fondation CCF collections for the Actes Sud de Paris imprint.

Artistic director of the Rencontres Internationales de la Photographie d'Arles in 1997, Caujolle has been guest curator at the Photo Biennale in Rotterdam (2000), the Photo Espana Festival (2001) and the Lithuanian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2003).

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