Images from Cambodia: myth, history and contemporary art
Soko Phay (University Paris 8/EHESS), Patrick Nardin (University Paris 8) and Suppya Hélène Nut (University of Cologne/INALCO).
April 10-11, 2015
59 rue Guynemer
Metro: Saint-Denis Université (line 13)
At the time when we commemorate the 40th anniversary of the Cambodian genocide, on April 17th 2015, it is necessary to express the legacy and creativity of a country which experienced mass extermination and destruction of an artistic community, through cultural and scientific events. Cambodia’s political, cultural and economic reconstruction is difficult; in its dramatic context, artists played an essential role particularly by passing on traditional arts to the new generation. But Cambodian young artists are looking for renewal: by questioning the past, they now seek to understand the complexity of our time and taking up the challenges of globalization.
The majority of Cambodia’s population, of which 40% is aged from 15 to 25, can hardly access its own collective memory. A work on archives become essential in a wish to promote writing and diffusion modes through image. By placing the issue of History and identity break at the heart of their thinking, artists act to go against this past’s deletion.
Reemployed, diverted from their traditional use, movies, photographs, sounds and objects can work on a non-discursive memory: the document becomes an operator for recall or fiction. To understand what is at stake, we will successively question myths and legacies of Angkor’s ruins, memory processes as well as new visual forms that are now created in Cambodia.
Photo credit: Pierre-Paul Frick