Photo festival winds up on a high

Photo festival winds up on a high

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In Africa, land of excess and heightened passions, popular beliefs can take the form of superstitions, leading to the persecution of those with a difference or physical disability. Nicola Lo Calzo succeeded in entering this closed and hidden world, winning people’s trust and helping them regain confidence. Morgante – Africa: Nicola Lo Calzo/Luzphoto

This weekend sees an end to what has been the biggest Angkor Photo Festival so far. An estimated 500 people joined the opening night of the eighth annual festival in Raffles Garden, and the week saw a constant stream of visitors to the ten exhibitions.

There were a record number of submissions with over 1200 from 67 countries, and for the first time ever the festival showed exhibitions by two major NGOs, Greenpeace and Médecins du Monde.

Tonight’s final slideshow is curated by festival program coordinator Françoise Callier and includes works by some of the team’s favourites.

“Tonight there are a lot of very, very established names,” says Asia coordinator Jessica Lim.

“People who are very well-known on the international circuit like Dominic Nahr from Magnum Photos, Anastasia Taylor-Lind from VII Agency, Guillaume Herbaut from Institute – these are all photographers whose recent work has won a lot of awards.”

The slideshow also includes images by the late Rémi Ochlik, the award-winning young French photojournalist who was killed in Syria while covering the Arab Spring uprising in February 2012.

Saturday’s closing night takes place at FCC Angkor and kicks off at 6.30pm with a free buffet, followed at 8.30pm by a small slideshow before the results of the Angkor Photo Workshops are announced.

To be one of the 38 participants, entrants had to be under the age of 28 and from Asia. This year there was also a record number of entries, more than 200.

“We are going to show all the work that they produced during the workshops,” says Lim.

“All the tutors and participants will be there which is great because I think this will be the first night they can all come together. On most of the other nights, some of them were still out working on their stories.”

The students are tutored by volunteer professional photographers.

Callier says that very often these students will go on to tutor the kids of Anjali House in the children’s workshops, bringing a nice symmetry to the proceedings.

“After that we will be awarding the 2012 Photo Prize Award,” says Lim.

“Every year we give out this award. It’s decided by an independent jury. This year the winner will receive a camera from Canon and a 2000 euro (US$2,612) grant from a French NGO, the Hope Françoise Demulder Award.”

The festivities are then set to continue into the night, according to Lim who says that FCC is planning to hire a DJ. In fact, if past years are anything to go by things might be “a bit crazy” as photographers, tutors and art-fans alike let off steam after what has been a full and busy week.

“A lot of people are leaving the next morning,” says Lim.

“So this is their last time together. Visitors and guests are all going to be celebrating their last night together till they see each other next year.”

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