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Man About Town: 7 Oct 2011

Man About Town: 7 Oct 2011

What can one say about the Mahatataka floods, as one bright local student has named the deluge? To borrow a song title from Bob Dylan, Everything is Broken.

Broken pavements, broken dreams, broken bodies, broken trees, broken hopes, broken bank balances, and broken roads.

Speaking of broken roads, one source, who definitely wants to remain anonymous, has penned this dishonour roll for our civic leaders, having duly noted the advanced water management skills of the ancient builders of Angkor.

The modern builders of Siem Reap are dunces and Our Source hands out Booby Prizes for the Destruction Siem Reap concerning water mismanagement by our governing authorities.

1st Prize: Apsara National Authority. For construction of the ring road, causing the flood. The Apsara National Authority, responsible for the construction of the ring road, ought to be ashamed of their handiwork. Along with the departments of Monuments, Water Management, and Urban Planning and Tourism, they have a lot to answer for. There were few, if any, drainage culverts under the road to allow passage of water from flooded rice fields between city and lake. The semi-circular raised road effectively acted as a dam wall, causing much of the disastrous flooding. No wonder PM Hun Sen ordered the road unceremoniously breached in many places!

2nd Prize: Siem Reap Municipal Authority. For construction of a new Administration Centre at Bakong, reached by a new road that dissects an ancient water baray, Indratataka, at Rolous. Rumour is that the Council of Ministers overruled the Apasara National Authority. There are also rumours that this centre may be sold to Korean interests (if still solvent!) as part of the famed new Siem Reap airport development, as it will straddle the impending access road to be built linking Domdek with Siem Reap. Where will we find the administration centre then, as they have sold all their city land and the new
centre for profit? Perhaps at the present airport site, as that will then become redundant?!!

3rd Prize: Siem Reap Urban Planning & Development Authorities. For permitting hotels to be constructed along the Airport Road, completely blocking the ancient drainage canal of the Angkor monuments site. Again, did the Council of Ministers overrule the Apsara National Authority?  And how will these hotels fare into the future, when they will no longer be on the road to the airport?

The six volunteer tutors who will help run the Angkor Photo Workshops at this year’s Angkor Photo Festival in Siem Reap are Patrick de Noirmont, Olivier Nilsson, Antoine d’Agata, Paula Bronstein, Justin Mott and a new face around Siem Reap town, Carolyn O’Neill.

Invites to young photographers in the region who have been selected for the workshops have gone out to 30 young hopefuls. Invitees come from all over the region, with the biggest numbers coming from the Philippines, India and Indonesia.

Two Cambodians have been invited to participate: Kimlong Meng and Vannith Yin Touch.

Both photographers are no strangers to readers of this august newspaper, and both had photos featured in last week’s 7Days Pchum Ben highlights wrap-up.

Meanwhile, pro photographers Eric de Vries and Carolyn O’Neill are running weekend street photography workshops in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh.

The dates are: Siem Reap, Saturday October 8 to Sunday October 9; Phnom Penh, Saturday October 29 to Sunday October 30.

The dynamic duo says “Not only will you learn how to shoot on the streets with more confidence, you will also learn how to choose your best work and post-process your images to create beautiful photographs with impact.”


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