FESTIVAL A WINNER
This year’s Angkor Photo Festival has been hailed around town as the best ever and a roaring success.
This year’s event was much broader in scope than in previous years and, coinciding with the Water Festival, had a special Khmer touch to it.
There were some grumbles on the opening night that the noise of the Water Festival merriment drowned out the photo talk at FCC Angkor, but this didn’t really detract from the overall excellence of the festival.
Of course the grim reality of the stampede tragedy added a sombre note to the occasion but it also served to prove the power of photography as a medium of communication in times of dire sadness, heartbreak and confusion. Thousands of people scoured the internet for news of the disaster, and it was the pictures that told the truest story.
Hotel de la Paix wisely cancelled its exhibit launch party on what transpired to be the National Day of Mourning.
But tonight it bounces back in fine form with the launch of Different Worlds, an exhibition by acclaimed and internationally-shown Cambodian artist, Chhim Sothy. This show, which runs through to January 13 sees Sothy’s work become increasingly experimental, both in style and subject matter.
In Australia the looming festive season is known as the “silly season” because silly stories dominate the news.
Locally, silly season seems to have already begun.
Silly Excuse of the Season was proffered by a Japanese tourist arrested last week photographing a Khmer couple having sex in a rented room in Siem Reap’s downtown Taphul village. The man told police he took the photos to show at the Angkor Photo Festival. Sun Bunthong, vice-chief of the Anti-Human Trafficking Unit, said the man’s lame excuse was “unbelievable”.
Silly Utterance of the Season goes to Rajan Zed, the president of the Universal Society of Hinduism, who told the WENN news agency that film star Angelina Jolie is so beloved in Cambodia that a world-
famous site at Angkor has been renamed after her.
Zed said: “It’s a 12th-century site called Ta Prohm; it is otherwise known as Old Brahma and was initially named Rajavihara or the royal monastery. Now it’s popularly called the Angelina Jolie Temple.”
I think that’s what’s called in the trade a “beat up”. Or perhaps BS is a better term…