Campaign started to save puppet theatre

A fundraising campaign has been launched to support master shadow puppet maker Mann Kosal and ensure the future of the Sovanna Phum Association.
A fundraising campaign has been launched to support master shadow puppet maker Mann Kosal and ensure the future of the Sovanna Phum Association. Athena Zelandonii

Campaign started to save puppet theatre

A fundraising campaign has been launched to ensure the short-term future of a long-standing Phnom Penh sbek thom (shadow puppet) theatre.

In May, the head of the Sovanna Phum Association Mann Kosal decided he could not continue without proper funding and decided to leave Phnom Penh to become a tuk-tuk driver.

But at the eleventh hour a pair of young artists pledged to raise between $12,000 to $30,000 to support his work as one of the few remaining practitioners of the art.

Last week, sisters Rithy Lomorpich and Rithy Lomorkesor, who began volunteering with Sovanna Phum in 2012, launched the #5KRiels campaign on Indiegogo, asking donors to stump up about $1.25 each and will run for three months.

“The idea is that 5,000 riel is not much money from each pocket,” said Lomorpich. “[But if many people] would donate only $1.25 on our donation website or into our piggy box, the #5KRiels campaign would have success to support sbek thom artists.”

The fundraising website also had options for people to donate more than $5 with rewards including personalised thank-you messages on photographs, T-shirts and carved leather puppets.

“Sometimes we think that little money could not change anything, but we believe little money could create a better life for Cambodian artists, especially lakhon sbek thom performance art,” Lomorpich said.

“However, if Cambodian people do not support their own heritage, it would be a huge shame to lose a Khmer art association which has run for a long time.”

Lomorpich said the sisters also planned to organise fundraising performances and put donation boxes in cafes, shops and restaurants.

For more details and to donate, visit the Indiegogo campaign.

MOST VIEWED

  • ‘Dire consequences’ from sanctions, warns AmCham

    American businesspeople in Cambodia have warned that any sanction against the Kingdom would have “dire consequences” that could push Cambodia even further into the arms of China. In a letter to US senators and representatives dated Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham) said

  • Protests planned in New York as Hun Sen to attend the UN

    Prime Minister Hun Sen will speak at the United Nations General Assembly in New York this week. But US-based supporters of the Supreme Court-dissolved Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) plan to throw eggs at his car as part of a series of protests to coincide

  • CPP: ‘Behave or Sokha suffers’

    The ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) spokesman warned Kem Monovithya on Thursday that her attempt to damage “national reputation and prestige” would lead to her father, Kem Sokha, receiving even harsher punishment. Sok Eysan issued the warning as Monovithya, who is the court dissolved

  • Preah Sihanouk beach developments halted

    After receiving an order from Hun Sen, Minister of Land Management Chea Sophara led a team of experts and relevant officials to Sihanoukville to call a halt to the illegal development of a beach. The prime minister ordered the Prek Treng beach in Otres commune