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Anjali Photo Workshops now underway

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Dreams of Flying © Jan von Holleben/Julian Meijer.

The eighth Anjali Photo Workshops kicked off yesterday, and about 50 camera-wielding children will be all over Siem Reap taking pictures of everything and anything that catches their attention.

So don't be surprised if you get approached during the week by groups of enthusiastic children asking to take your photo.

The workshops, organised by the 8th Angkor Photo Festival and supported by Canon, have come a long way since their humble beginnings in 2005.

Initiated by Magnum photographer Antoine d'Agata, the workshops have transformed from an informal affair into an annual event involving ten volunteer photographers from all over the world who come to Siem Reap to tutor the children.

Through this initiative, Anjali House was also founded, which is today a registered NGO providing food, shelter and education to 125 underprivileged children in Siem Reap.

The 10-day workshop will use photography as a tool to foster creativity – an important part of education and a key tool in encouraging self-confidence, social interaction and more importantly, educational development.

Cambodia, Our Vision, a 220-page photo book featuring the children's work was published two years ago, and is still available for sale in Siem Reap.

Member of the public can come join the children and see their photographs when the 8th Angkor Photo Festival screens the results of the workshops on Children's Day (December 5th, 5pm) at Wat Athvea Pagoda.

The special day is for both the young and the young at heart, and will also feature a special 'children's edition' slideshows from the festival's program.

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