Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Applications open for CLA Cultural Season

Applications open for CLA Cultural Season

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
CLA 2023 curatorial fellows Noemmilya Born and Chanborey Soy. SOUL NARY

Applications open for CLA Cultural Season

The Cultural Season Programme, initiated by Cambodian Living Arts (CLA) in 2018, is a collection of performances, including art exhibitions, musical performances, workshops, plays, talks, and short documentaries.

Yon Sokhorn, CLA’s director of arts development, noted in a recent interview with The Post that it is actually an annual programme, but the organisation was unable to hold it in 2019 and 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. “This means that next year’s event will be our fourth,” she said.

Sokhorn said there are two main purposes of the programme. First, it is a platform to showcase the talents and creative ideas of artists through stories that are relevant to Cambodian society today.

She said most of the works are created by young artists, and his organisation acts as a channel which enables them to have their voices heard.

Second, the programme is a place where artists, culture and arts operators have the opportunity to express and exchange ideas on different topics.

Each year, the programme is held under a different theme, and the CLA encourages all artists to create new works based on the theme and submit them to its “Open Call for New Creations”.

“Every year we have a different theme, which is used to guide the direction of the activities and events in the programme. In 2023, it will be held under the theme “Your Kind, Our Kind”. So all works and discussions will be in line with this topic,” she said.

Sokhorn added that 2023 would be slightly different from previous years. In the past, the organisation designed its own programme, but this time has selected three recipients for “Curatorial Fellowship” scholarships, and they will design and organise the programme.

The main goal of the fellowship is to train the three scholarship recipients in event management skills. They will work with industry leaders as they plan next year’s programme.

“All three scholarship recipients will be responsible for choosing the topics, works and activities that will make up next year’s event. They will also be working with us to promote the programme. They recently took a study tour to Chiang Mai and Bangkok, where they visited local art and cultural sites,” she added.

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
CLA 2023 curatorial fellow Serei Vankosaun. SOUL NARY

Serei Vankosaun, one of the three artists who received a scholarship, said the curatorial fellowship programme is not something that had been tried before in Cambodia, but she was getting a lot of training from CLA. There is also a facilitator who guides the work of the trio.

“We spoke with artists in Thailand who organise their own events, and then heard from many experienced event planners in Cambodia. It is really exciting being able to put what we have learned into practice,” she said.

Also an official at the Royal University of Fine Arts (RUFA) and a classical artist, Vankosaun explained why she and her group chose the theme “Your Kind, Our Kind”.

She said they first looked at the experiences of those around them – in the art world and in general society – and wanted to raise issues related to different personalities.

“There is a negative mindset in Cambodian society about non-conformist individuals. They are often subject to discrimination both of themselves and of their skills. We believe that this topic will be open for all to participate and share their perspectives. This will be true from the point of view of the artists as well as the audience,” she said.

With this in mind, she encouraged artists to apply for the Open Call for New Creations, saying it would require artists to try new things and experiment with their own skills.

The four works will be selected for performances next February in Phnom Penh and in March in the provinces. Artists can receive up to $5,000 of funding for digital work and $4,000 for live performances.

If an artist has a new idea and wants to present or interpret something related to the theme “Your Kind, Our Kind”, they can summit their application anytime before August 15.

Sokhorn said: “If we look at our context, Cambodian artists are already creative, they just lack of funding to turn some of their ideas into reality. Instead of looking for existing works, we strive to encourage artists to create new works that are in line with our theme.”


  • Siem Reap drain canal now ‘mangrove’ promenade

    A more than half a kilometre long stretch of canal in Siem Reap has been covered and turned into a promenade to attract visitors, said Ly Rasmey, secretary of state at the Ministry of Land Management, Urban Planning and Construction, on September 16. The new pedestrianised

  • Typhoon Noru brings flash floods – 16 dead

    An official warned that that the 16th typhoon of the season, Noru, had brought heavy rains to areas the Mekong River and flooded thousands of homes in the provinces bordering Thailand. As of September 27, the death toll from the flooding had risen to 16. National Committee

  • Angkor wildlife, aquarium park still to open October

    The Angkor Wildlife and Aquarium complex about 30km southeast of Siem Reap town with initial total investment of more than $70 million is reportedly still on track for an end-October opening. The park is located on a 100ha plot along National Road 6 in Kbon village, Khchas

  • Final verdicts for Khmer Rouge leaders ‘vital’ for next generation

    Nearly a decade after the commencement of Case 002/02 against Khieu Samphan back in 2014, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) is now set to deliver its final verdict for the former Khmer Rouge head of state. The Supreme Court Chamber of the ECCC,

  • Defence minister reaffirms Kingdom’s staunch support for One-China policy

    Minister of National Defence General Tea Banh has reaffirmed Cambodia’s unwavering support for the One-China policy. Tea Banh was speaking at the September 20 ceremonial handover of 117 vehicles and other military equipment donated by China’s defence ministry, held at Phnom Chumreay International Military Training

  • Deaths due to ‘lifestyle’ diseases rise in Kingdom

    The Ministry of Health has called on people to pay closer attention to their health to protect themselves from non-communicable diseases (NCDs) which it said have caused high rates of deaths in the country. Ministry secretary of state York Sambath made the call at a