The Secondary School of Fine Arts (SSFA) has signed an exchange of art programme with the Association des Anciens Etudiants Khmers de l’Université des Beaux Arts du Cambodge en France (AEKUBACF), which trains Cambodian people and members of the Cambodian diaspora in France.

The agreement, which also seeks to expand friendly relations between the two institutes, was signed by SSFA director Heng Kamsan and AEKUBACF director Ung Vantha, in a ceremony held at SSFA’s Pimean Akas Theatre in Phnom Penh on August 17.

“We have held many discussions prior to signing this agreement. Its main purpose is to create an exchange programme between the students of the school and Cambodian students who live in France. They lack resources and teachers in many important performance art forms, such as dance, Lakhon Bassac and lakhon Yike,” said Kamsan.

“In the last 10-20 years, the popularity of these forms has declined, so we have agreed to work together to try to revive them. From next year onwards, we will arrange joint performances by students from both countries,” he added.

In addition, there will be exchanges between teachers in Cambodia and teachers in France. The agreement’s goal is to contribute to promoting traditional Khmer arts.

According to Kamsan, the AEKUBACF is a large-scale organisation for the training of art to Khmer youth living in France. The association also conducts cultural research and has a cadre of volunteer doctors.

Kamsan said the AEKUBACF delegation was on a two-week visit to the Kingdom. Some of the group performed at the Chaktomuk Conference Hall in Phnom Penh on August 15.

“Another group went to Siem Reap province, while the remainder helped us to organise the signing ceremony,” he added.