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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Reahu's art made to shock

Reahu's art made to shock

Dear Editor,

I can't help myself to keep silent after reading your article "Controversial artist fights back" (Phnom Penh Post, December 26).

Maybe I should directly address to the artist himself, through his website, but The Phnom Penh Post seems to me a neutral and a better place for constructive debates; for it's a matter of limits between freedom and rights.

I'm not at all shocked by other paintings from Reahu. Naked is a natural state of life. Everybody was born naked. But if ever the artist reads your columns, I would suggest him to paint a female Nazi fighter in the same way he has painted the female Khmer Rouge fighter. Maybe he could then feel the frontiers between freedom and responsibility.

Of course, no law prohibits such creation. ... Everybody is free to do such things, obviously. But ... considering all the pain and suffering the Khmers Rouge inflicted to millions Cambodians, to which freedom should one give the priority?

To be an artist or public personality requires awareness of [the] impacts one's attitude could have on social and/or political environments. As well, to be a citizen implies the same scheme of considerations toward the overall environment. It's not a matter of auto-censure, but just of responsibility and ethics. For in this part of the Universe, for light years around, only our planet is life-friendly. That means resources are necessarily limited and have to be shared among billions of us. It's just to say there is no place for absolute freedom on Earth. Provocative approaches in the name of freedom are more designed to make buzz and to disguise poor creativity, than to make things really progress.

Somanos Sar

Paris

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