Category Archives: Season of Cambodia

Think Again: Lessons From Cambodia’s Rebirth Through the Arts

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/cynthia-p-schneider/arts-cambodia_b_3249076.html

The revival of Cambodia’s rich and unique cultural heritage has fueled the country’s impressive recovery from the Khmer Rouge’s genocide of 1975-79. This message rang unmistakably true as the Season of Cambodia (SOC) has dazzled New York audiences in museums, universities, galleries, and performing arts centers over the past month. Both the U.S. and the Cambodian governments stand to learn from this game-changing lesson for post-conflict development strategy, but neither government seems to have noticed.

The 125 Cambodian artists supported and hosted by over 30 New York institutions have revealed the near miraculous preservation of the venerated arts of shadow puppetry and Cambodian classical ballet, as well as the dynamic new visions in dance, visual arts, and film of the artists from Cambodia’s youthful majority (70 percent under age 30).

To understand the significance of creative expression and cultural heritage in rebuilding Cambodia, you have first to understand the utter devastation wreaked by the Khmer Rouge during their reign of terror.

Nearly a third of the population, between 1.7 and 2.5 million out of a total population of 8 million, was killed between 1975-79. The dictator Pol Pot, himself with a degree from the Sorbonne, targeted anyone with an education. Ninety per cent of artists and intellectuals were murdered.

The U.S. opened the door to Pol Pot and his genocidal regime. America supported General Lon Nol over the more popular King Sihanouk, but it was the massive US bombing campaign, with more ordinance than the total dropped by the Allies in World War II, that led Cambodians to see the Khmer Rouge as their salvation. (The analogy to the drone campaign radicalizing Pakistan has been made.)

Greeted as liberators when they entered Phnom Penh, the Khmer Rouge immediately launched their brutal campaign. They divided families and outlawed familial love, moved everyone into the countryside, eliminated all cultural traditions and creative expression, and made the entire population work grueling 18-hour days on a subsistence diet.

Arn Chorn-Pond — musician, Cambodian genocide survivor, former child soldier, and founder ofCambodian Living Arts, the organization behind the Season of Cambodia — recognized the essential role of reviving culture in rebuilding the country. In returning masters of music, dance, and puppetry to their rightful place in society, Chorn-Pond and the other co-founders of Cambodian Living Arts helped restore identity, pride, and resilience to the Cambodian people.

The Khmer Rouge targeted artists, Chorn-Pond explains, because “they expressed who they were as human beings.” While brutal regimes like the Khmer Rouge or the Taliban recognize the threat that cultural identity and expression pose to their totalitarian control — think of the fate of the Bamiyan Buddhas or of the libraries in Timbuktu — the United States rarely prioritizes culture in post-conflict situations. (Afghanistan, where the U.S. successfully has supported culture and media, is an exception). No USAID funds for Cambodia have gone to culture.

The Season of Cambodia shows that recovery from trauma and conflict requires more than food and security. The soul of a country must also be nourished. The shell-shocked Cambodian survivors had to move beyond the genocide, and develop the strength to rebuild their country.

The story behind Lida Chan’s documentary Red Wedding, screened in the SOC’s Film Festival illustrates how the process of filmmaking as well as the end product can heal past pain, empower Cambodians to chart their future, and bridge the generation gap between survivors of the Khmer Rouge and today’s youth.

Chan’s film chronicles 48-year-old Sochan Pen’s determined search for the man who forced her, at age 16, to “marry” him. Pen escaped, but not until after her Khmer Rouge “husband” had raped and beaten her.

The process of sharing her story with the young filmmaker empowered Sochan Pen to testify against her “husband” at the Cambodia Tribunal, and to travel the country, telling her story, empowering other forced “brides” to speak up with her example.

Trained by Cambodia’s most renowned filmmaker Rithy Panh in his Bophana Center, Lida Chan and her experience affirm Panh’s belief that “Cambodians are learning to tell their own story, something that never has happened before.”

For his critical work preserving Cambodia’s cinematic past, and teaching future generations, Rithy Panh receives little support from the Cambodian or U.S. government.

To date, the Cambodian government has not made support for the arts a priority. Imagine what a fund built from a small tax added to Angkor Wat ticket prices could do to unleash the creative and economic potential of Cambodia’s youthful population.

The breakaway success of Artisans Angkor shows that investments in culture also can reap financial rewards. Led by Phloeun Prim, the charismatic architect of the Season of Cambodia, Artisans Angkor in a decade evolved from a modest NGO to a business with tens of millions of dollars in revenue, and over one thousand employees.

The Season of Cambodia offers the vision of a creative, dynamic, country, with a distinctive past and a promising future, a country that, to quote Festival architect Phloeun Prim, “has made arts and culture its international signature, not just the killing fields”. That dramatic transformation should persuade both the American and Cambodian governments of the importance of supporting the cultural sector in rebuilding this and other post-conflict societies.

First published May 9, 2013 on USC’s CPD Blog

Follow Cynthia P. Schneider on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Schneidercp
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OLD GHOSTS, NEW DREAMS: THE EMERGING CAMBODIAN CINEMA

See three films or more and save!

In conjunction with the citywide Season of Cambodia arts festival, the great documentarian Rithy Panh presents a fascinating survey of new and recent films from Cambodia.

Season of Cambodia, a special initiative of Cambodian Living Arts in partnership with Cambodia’s leading arts organizations and New York’s most vibrant cultural and academic institutions, will bring more than 125 performing and visual artists to New York City’s stages, screens, galleries and public spaces, creating a broad and dynamic platform for Cambodia’s cultural treasures to be shared with an international audience. Season of Cambodia will be a celebration of the living arts—of the people and practices that make up our cultural fabric.

NOW PLAYING

Dancing Across Borders

Dancing Across Borders

Anne Bass | 2011 | 88 mins

From the serene countryside of Cambodia to the halls of New York’s School of American Ballet, Dancing Across Borders peeks behind the scenes into the world of dance and chronicles the triumphant story of a boy who was discovered, and who only much later discovered all that he had in himself.

Read more »

Saturday, April 20

9:30pm

Duch, Master of the Forges of Hell

Rithy Panh | 2012 | 110 mins

Rithy Panh records the unadorned words of Duch, the first leader of the Khmer Rouge organization to be brought before an international criminal justice court, without any trimmings, in the isolation of a face-to-face encounter.

Read more »

Sunday, April 21

8:45pm

Wednesday, April 24

9:30pm

Five Lives

Sopheak Sao |Sarin Chhoun |Lida Chan |Lida Chan |Kavich Neang | 2010 | 93 mins

Five young Cambodian directors follow five lives in Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia. The films were produced during a documentary workshop led by acclaimed director Rithy Panh.

Read more »

Tuesday, April 23

7:30pm

Golden Slumbers

Golden Slumbers

Davy Chou | 2011 | 96 mins

Davy Chou’s moving investigation of Cambodia’s lost cinematic heritage is an oral history with first-hand accounts of the emergence and flourishing of that country’s cinema in the 60s by directors, actors and cinephiles.

Read more »

Thursday, April 25

7:30pm

The Land of the Wandering Souls

Rithy Panh | 1999 | 143 mins

A group of workers laying a high-tech fiber optic cable that will link Cambodia to the rest of Asia and Europe encounter painful remnants of the past and labor to bring Cambodia into the modern age.

Read more »

Saturday, April 20

7:00pm

The Last Refuge

Anne-Laure Porée |Guillaume Soun | 2013 | 55 mins

The Last Refuge follows the resistance of the Bunong people of eastern Cambodia as they confront alienation and annihilation by foreign companies who steal their lands and clear their sacred forests and cemeteries in order to cultivate rubber plants.

Read more »

Tuesday, April 23

9:30pm

Red Wedding

Noces Rouges |Lida Chan |Guillaume Soun | 2012 | 58 mins

Sochan Pen kept the secret of her rape by a Khmer Rouge soldier she was forced to marry for four decades. By bringing her complaint to a UN-sanctioned tribunal, she speaks up for the 4000+ women who shared her fate.

Read more »

Monday, April 22

7:30pm

A River Changes Course

Kalyanee Mam | 2012 | 83 mins

A River Changes Course is a cinematically spectacular and sensory journey into the lives of three young Cambodians and their families and an immersion into a world both distinctive and familiar.

Read more »

Friday, April 19

7:15pm

S21: The Khmer Rouge Death Machine

S21: The Khmer Rouge Death Machine

Rithy Panh | 2002 | 101 mins

In S21, Rithy Panh brings two survivors and former members of the Khmer Rouge back to the notorious Tuol Sleng prison (code-named “S21”), now a genocide museum.

Read more »

Sunday, April 21

6:00pm

Wednesday, April 24

7:00pm

Where I Go

Neang Kavich | 2012 | 55 mins

A young boy of mixed Cambodian-Cameroonian descent living in an orphanage in Phnom Penh is inspired to learn about his own identity by the discrimination he faces on a daily basis.

Read more »

Monday, April 22

9:00pm

Cambodian Shorts Program

Yann Cantais |Caylee So |Ellen Bruno |Sopheak Sao | | 83 mins

A program comprising four short films: The Granddaughters of Water(Yann Cantais, France, 2012, 12m); Paulina (Caylee So, USA, 2012, 30m);Samsara (Ellen Bruno, USA, 1989, 29m); Two Girls Against the Rain(Sopheak Sao, Cambodia, 2013, 11m).

Read more »

Sunday, April 21

4:00pm

Our City Festival

Screening of video about Our City Festival during the colloquium presented during Season of Cambodia.

http://seasonofcambodia.org/event/symposium-art-and-urbanism-in-cambodia/

Season of Cambodia. Ancient Traditions and Modern Artists

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nycarts/season-of-cambodia-ancien_b_3037871.html

The cultural festival Season of Cambodia introduces New York City to the ancient arts of a Southeast Asian kingdom and to its contemporary artists working in visual arts, dance, theater and performance art. This April and May, you can get a taste of Cambodia in more than 30 favorite cultural spots around the city, from the Metropolitan Museum of Art to Le Poisson Rouge.

The Kingdom of Cambodia is known for the greatest architectural wonder of Southeast Asia—the temples of Angkor Wat—and for one of the most horrific periods of civil war and genocide in modern times, the five-year reign of the Khmer Rouge (1974-79) during which nearly a quarter of the population perished. Nearly 90 percent of the country’s artists and intellectuals were purposefully persecuted and killed. Today, the country has less than two times the number of New York City residents and half the population is less than 25 years old.

The festival not only celebrates Cambodia’s art with exhibits and performances, but using talks and symposiums, examines the role art and culture plays in the social, economic and emotional rebuilding of a post-conflict nation. The festival’s leading artists include visual artist Sopheap Pich, composers Him Sophyand Chinary Ung, choreographer Sophiline Cheam Shapiro, Amrita Performing Arts and the Royal Ballet of Cambodia.

Watch Season of Cambodia on PBS. See more from NYC-ARTS.

Traditional elements of Cambodian art include dancing deities, Buddhist tales and mythological Hindu accounts of wars and creation, and will be brought to life in venues across New York City in the form of installations, puppet theater and performances.

Season of Cambodia is an initiative of Cambodian Living Arts, an NGO based in Pehnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia. Presenting partners include museums, performing arts centers and universities of New York City.

Click here to view all Season of Cambodia events.

Dancing Well Is the Best Revenge

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04/05/arts/dance/season-of-cambodia-dance-festival-in-new-york.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0

By BRIAN SEIBERT
Published: April 4, 2013

IN the beginning warring gods and demons churned the cosmic ocean, and celestial dancers called apsaras emerged from the froth. That’s one story about Cambodian dance, its origin myth. This tale is preserved in bas-reliefs on the monumental temples of Angkor, created (like the dance) during the Khmer Empire (802-1431), left to become ruins during centuries of vassalage and rediscovered in the 19th and 20th centuries as emblems, first of royal pride and then of national identity.

Khvay Samnang

The Khmer Arts Ensemble in “A Bend in the River.”

Andres Jiras

The Royal Ballet of Cambodia’s “Legend of Apsara Mera.”

Courtesy of the archives of HRH Princess Norodom Buppha Devi

Princess Norodom Buppha Devi.

James Wasserman/SE Globe

A class in traditional dance at the Khmer Arts Academy in Takmao, Cambodia.

Courtesy of the archives of HRH Princess Norodom Buppha Devi

The Royal Ballet about 1906, in costumes that are brocaded and bejeweled. They seem to wear temples on their heads.

The Royal Ballet about 1906, in costumes that are brocaded and bejeweled. They seem to wear temples on their heads.
Another story begins in 1975, when the Khmer Rouge, radical Communists, took over Cambodia and restarted the calendar at Year Zero. In the four years before they were ousted by the Vietnamese as much as a quarter of the population perished through starvation, forced labor and murder. Dancers, as symbols of the decadent past, were among those most at risk. According to Toni Shapiro-Phim, a dance ethnologist at Bryn Mawr College who specializes in Southeast Asian dance, only an estimated 10 to 20 percent of the royal dancers survived — about two dozen people who reconstructed what they could of an oral tradition and taught it to new generations.

Neither of these stories is the central one advanced by Season of Cambodia, a festival of Cambodian culture taking place around New York in April and May. Initiated by the grass-roots organization Cambodian Living Arts, the festival combines dance performances, films, visual art exhibitions, concerts, classes and discussions. It seeks to shift attention from Angkor and the Killing Fields to contemporary Cambodian art.

But this telling of the present inevitably contains remnants of the past. “The Legend of Apsara Mera,” which the Royal Ballet of Cambodia is presenting at the Brooklyn Academy of Music (May 2 to 4), combines the Hindu tale of the apsaras rising from a sea of milk with a love story of an apsara and a foreign prince that is Cambodia’s foundation myth.

The Royal Ballet embodies Cambodian classical style: spiritual, serene, very much as if those temple bas-reliefs had come to slow life. Knees bend softly in gliding walks. Toes curl up and fingers bow back toward wrists with the elegance of flora in the wind. Costumes are resplendent, brocaded, bejeweled. The dancers seem to wear temples on their heads. Through stylized mime, the dances recount myths.

“The Legend of Apsara Mera” was choreographed by no less than a princess, Norodom Buppha Devi, 70, who was the Royal Ballet’s prima ballerina in the 1960s and lived in exile from 1970 to 1991. As the country’s culture minister from 1999 to 2004 she successfully lobbied to have Unesco place Cambodian classical dance on its register of Intangible Cultural Heritage.

Still, the dance “is always evolving,” she said via e-mail in French. “Each generation of teachers transmits its own style and creations.” The Apsara Dance, a set piece that looks timeless, was created, Ms. Buppha Devi said, by her grandmother, Queen Sisowath Kossomak, in 1962. (Other dancers date the piece’s creation to the late 1950s. A 1965 film of it, which can be found on YouTube, stars the stunning princess.)

The last time that the Royal Ballet came to Brooklyn was for its United States debut in 1971. Then it was called the Classical Khmer Ballet; Cambodia had become a republic the year before. At the Joyce Theater in 1990, when Cambodia was still under Vietnamese control, it performed as the Classical Dance Company of Cambodia, and the story was about survival but also about the dancers who defected. (Dancers from the Royal University of Fine Arts performed at the Joyce in 2001 and 2005 as well.)

Now the name is Royal again, but the company and the art are, in the words of Princess Buppha Devi “still in a fragile state.” The Royal University of Fine Arts, where almost all the dancers train, lost its majestic building a few years ago in a government sell-off. The ballet has become more independent from the Culture Ministry, which means less supervision but also less support.

Independence from the state is the trend. The Khmer Arts Ensemble, which is bringing “A Bend in the River” to the Joyce (Tuesday to April 14), formed as a nongovernmental organization outside the capital, Phnom Penh, in 2007. Its artistic director, Sophiline Cheam Shapiro, 46, was in the first class to train at the School of Fine Arts after the overthrow of the Khmer Rouge. She danced with the Royal Ballet and was part of its visit to the Joyce in 1990.

After she moved to Long Beach, Calif., in 1991, she began to apply Cambodian classical technique to contemporary work. Eventually she returned to Cambodia, experimenting with the state system before forming her own ensemble. Rather than renouncing or abandoning classicism, Ms. Shapiro’s choreography extends it. Rigorously maintaining classical postures and arm and hand positions, her dancers tilt a little further to express intimacy. They might even tangle or intertwine. In “A Bend in the River” classical bodies undulate to convey the motion of a crocodile.

The new dance innovates by incorporating materials from contemporary art. The cast moves under and on top of rattan crocodiles by the sculptor Sopheap Pich, whose work is also exhibited at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Swirling water is suggested by a set of IV tubing. The musician Him Sophy has composed a new score for a Pinpeat ensemble, usually reserved for ceremonies.

Ms. Shapiro’s troupe has won acclaim in Europe and America and has tackled “Othello” and “The Magic Flute.” “A Bend in the River” is about a female crocodile that takes revenge on a male crocodile that ate her family. It’s an old fable, but the resonances are more recent. Ms. Shapiro, who was 8 in 1975, lost her home, her father and her two brothers because of the Khmer Rouge. The female crocodile’s anger is her own.

And not just hers. In a Skype interview Ms. Shapiro recalled when her teacher, 82 at the time, watched Khmer Arts Ensemble dancers rehearse a classical piece. “She started to cry and yell out in anger, cursing the Khmer Rouge,” Ms. Shapiro recalled. “She said: ‘When I watch your students, I see my friends. They took all my friends.’ ”

“For me,” Ms. Shapiro said, “the Khmer Rouge tried to destroy classical dance and Cambodia, but they failed. We revived it. This is revenge.”

Chankethya Chey, who will dance her solo “My Mother and I” as part of the Amrita Performing Arts program at Abrons Arts Center (April 18 to 19), was born in 1985. From the age of 5 she studied classical dance. She trained at the Royal University. She performed with the Royal Ballet. But because of Amrita Performing Arts, a nongovernmental organization started in 2003 to promote contemporary work, she was also introduced to international choreographers and invited to perform abroad.

And then she became a choreographer herself. “My Mother and I” is based in classical vocabulary but adds talking, singing and electric guitar to express the struggles of Ms. Chey’s generation. Money is a problem, she said in a Skype interview, as is finding places to present her work. But the greatest challenge, she insisted, is to hold onto the past while moving into the future.

“It’s so easy to copy,” she said. “I don’t want to be a contemporary artist from Europe or America. I want to be Cambodian.”

For Phloeun Prim, the executive director of Cambodia Living Arts, the festival’s presenter, his organization has a purpose beyond changing world perception: to nurture artists Ms. Chey’s age and younger. Half of Cambodia’s population is under 25, Mr. Prim said, as are almost all the dancers participating in “Season of Cambodia.”

“Ten or 20 years from now will every story about Cambodian arts still start with the Killing Fields?” he asked.

Living Arts City: Art and Urbanism in Phnom Penh and New York A Colloquium in Three Acts

20130406-191707.jpg

I’m presenting the Urban Lab and tomorrow.

SUNDAY, APRIL 7, 10:00 AM-5:00 PM
Living Arts City: Art and Urbanism in Phnom Penh and New York
A Colloquium in Three Acts
Presented in collaboration with IN RESIDENCE, the Visual Art program of Season of Cambodia.
Scholars, researchers, students, arts organizers, artists, policymakers, urbanists and designers from both New York and Cambodia will participate in a series of workshops and dialogues focused on how creativity fuels cities and how development and commodification dampens art production. This will include conversations on the role of public art, festivals, cultural district formation, and the distribution of arts and of artists in cities and towns; and will address such issues such as design, media, ecology, and youth development.

Welcome:
David Lewis, Interim Dean, School of Constructed Environments, Parsons The New School for Design
Brian McGrath, Research Chair in Urban Design, Parsons The New School for Design

10:00 AM Workshop: Geo-body of the Living Arts City
This three-act colloquium begins with Cambodian Visual Artists and Living Arts Fellows presenting themselves, their work and their ideas about art practice and organizations to colleagues in New York.

Cambodian Living Arts Fellows:
Song Seng, Cambodian Living Arts, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Khun Chanreaksmey, Phare Ponleu Selepak, Battambang, Cambodia
Chea Sopheap, Bophana Audiovisual Resource Center, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Hannah Stevens, Fellows Program Manager

Cambodian Visual Artists:
Khvyay Samnang, Leang Seckon, Lim Sokchanlina, Pete Pin, Amy Lee Sanford, Svay Sareth, Than Sok, Tith Kanitha, Vandy Rattana, Vuth Lyno, Anida Yeou Ali.

Asian Cultural Council Fellows:
Kong Vollak, Sereypagna Pen

Cambodian Community in New York:
Pete Pin, Brooklyn-based photographer
Chhaya Chhoum, Executive Director, Mekong NYC Community Organization, and Co-Chair, Season of Cambodia Community Council
Sarah Eisinger, Co-Chair, Season of Cambodia Community Council

1:00 PM The Production of Space in the Living Arts City
Screening: Rescue Archeology: Documents Of Performance Art From Phnom Penh
Presented by Leeza Ahmady, Season of Cambodia IN RESIDENCE Visual Art Program Director, and Season of Cambodia Visual Art Program Co-Curator, and Erin Gleeson, Season of Cambodia Visual Art Program Co-Curator

Presentation: Our City Festival: Cultivating Communities
Shelby Doyle, faculty member, School of Design Strategies, Parsons The New School for Design and 2011-2012 Fulbright research fellow based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Moderator, Radhika Subramaniam, Director, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, Parsons The New School for Design

Rescue Archeology: Documents of Performance Art from Phnom Penh is a selection of videos of performance art by seven Cambodian contemporary artists, including: Khvay Samnang, Leang Seckon, Lim Sokchanlina, Amy Lee Sanford, Svay Sareth, Than, Sok, Tith Kanitha, and Anida Yoeu Ali. These works demonstrate that while extensive resources are invested in Cambodia to rescue the ancient cities associated with Angkor Wat, it is contemporary artists who seek to rescue the physical, psychological and personal memories of their present capital city, Phenom Penh. Our City Festival: Cultivating Communities takes a look at the role that festivals play in creating a dialogue about the arts and art production, with a specific focus on Our City Festival, an organization that since 2008 has hosted over 80 projects in 60 sites in Phnom Penh, involving over 500 artists, cultural activists, youth ambassadors, and community members.

3:00 PM Living Arts District Workshop: Arts Production and Community Development
Speakers: Stiev Selepak: Khvay Samnang, Lim Sokchanlina, and Vuth Lyno

Khvay Samnang, Lim Sokchanlina and Vuth Lyno, co-founders of art collective Stiev Selepak, will present Phnom Penh’s historic White Building and the community-based experimental initiative Sa Sa Art Projects. Built in the 1960s, the White Building (originally known as Bassac Municipal Apartments) was one of the city’s first examples of low-cost, multi-story housing, and was specifically intended to house artists, cultural workers and municipal staff. Today, the White Building is one of the city’s most vibrant communities, hosting more than 2,500 residents, including classical dancers, master musicians, skilled craftspeople, cultural workers, civil servants, and street vendors. Located in the White Building and initiated by Stiev Selapak, Sa Sa Art Projects is an experimental space and residency program, creating opportunities for realizing new ideas. Sa Sa Art Projects also hosts occasional exhibitions designed by and for community residents, and offers regular classes in contemporary art to the residents and nearby students.

The presentation is followed by a workshop facilitated by the faculty and students from The New School, with a goal of projecting the vibrancy of the living arts community in the White Building into a plan for a Living Arts Hub for Phnom Penh. Such New York projects as East 4th Street Arts Block and Long Island City Civic Action provide a model for the discussion.

Invited New School Participants:
William Morrish, Professor of Urban Ecology, Parsons The New School for Design
Irene Leung, Part-Time Faculty, The New School
Stephanie Browner, Dean, Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts
Neil Greenberg, Chair of Arts Program, Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts
Jaskiran Dhillon, Assistant Professor of Education Studies and Anthropology and Director of Lang in Cambodia, Eugene Lang College The New School for Liberal Arts
Jonathan Bach, Director of Global Studies, The New School for Public Engagement
Carin Kuoni, Director, Vera List Center for Art and Politics, The New School
Radhika Subramaniam, Director, Shelia C. Johnson Design Center, Parsons
Lydia Matthews, Professor of Visual Culture, School of Art, Media and Technology, Parsons
Adam Brent, Director, BFA Integrated Design, School of Design Strategies, Parsons
Alison Mears, Dean, School of Design Strategies Parsons
Alfred Zollinger, Director, Parsons Design Workshop, School of Constructed Environments, Parsons
Alan Wexler, Part-Time Faculty, School of Constructed Environments, Parsons
Simone Douglas, Director, MFA Fine Arts, School of Art, Media, Technology, Parsons
Anthony Aziz, Director, BFA Fine Arts, School of Art, Media and Technology, Parsons
Long Island City Civic Action team: David Leven, Andrew Bernheimer, Astrid Lipka and Claire Weisz, School of Constructed Environments, Parsons
Brian McGrath, Research Chair in Urban Design, Parsons The New School for Design
Victoria Marshall, Assistant Professor of Urban Design, School of Design Strategies, Parsons
Alan Bruton, Assistant Professor of Interior Design, School of Constructed Environments, Parsons
Shelby Doyle, Part-Time Faculty, School of Design Strategies, Parsons
Sereypagna Pen, Asia Cultural Council Fellow, Visiting Scholar, School of Constructed Environments, Parsons

Parsons Graduate Student Facilitators:
Janet Lobberecht, Rashid Owoyele, and Bridget Sheerin, MFA Transdisciplinary Design
Andres Gonzalez-Bode, M. Arch/MFA Lighting Design
Jenny Werbell, MFA Interior Design/MFA Lighting Design
Joshua Brandt and Jonathan LaPalme, MS Design and Urban Ecologies

Living Arts City: Art and Urbanism in Phnom Penh and New York Panel Discussion

http://sce.parsons.edu/livingartscity/#anchor1

SATURDAY, APRIL 6, 6:30-9:00 PM
Living Arts City: Art and Urbanism in Phnom Penh and New York
Panel Discussion and Welcoming Reception
Joel Towers, Executive Dean, Parsons The New School for Design

Introduction to Cambodian Living Arts:
Arn Chorn-Pond, Founder, Cambodian Living Arts
John Burt, Founding Board Chair Emeritus, Cambodian Living Arts, and Chairman, Season of Cambodia

Introduction to Season of Cambodia:
Phloeun Prim, CEO, Season of Cambodia, and Executive Director, Cambodian Living Arts
Elena Park, Senior Festival Advisor

Keynote Address: Refuge, Diaspora and Return: Cosmopolitan Phnom Penh
William Greeves, Director of Vann Molyvann Project

Panel Discussion: Urban Design and Arts Development in Phnom Penh
William Morrish, Professor of Urban Ecology, Parsons The New School for Design
Brian McGrath, Research Chair in Urban Design, Parsons The New School for Design
Fred Frumberg, Cambodia Line Producer, Executive Director, Amrita Performing Arts
Erin Gleeson, Season of Cambodia Visual Art Program Co-Curator, and Artistic Director, SaSa Bassac

Greeves will discuss Phnom Penh’s emergence as a cosmopolitan city during the 1950s and 1960s, when the capital of the newly independent Cambodia was planned and designed by the architect Vann Molyvann under the patronage of King Norodom Sihanouk. The lecture sets the stage for imagining the type of cultural city possible in Phnom Penh today. Morrish will respond by outlining the link between urban design and arts development, and McGrath will moderate a discussion around the type of cultural city Phnom Penh is destined to become as the capital of an emerging 21st century democracy.

Living Arts City Colloquium – Art and Urbanism in Phnom Phen and New York

As part of the Season of Cambodia and Parsons the New School for Design Living Arts City initiative I have the opportunity to present some of the work from the Our City Festival. See below:

LIVING ARTS CITY

ART AND URBANISM IN PHNOM PENH AND NEW YORK

As part of Season of Cambodia, a multi-disciplinary arts festival taking place this spring in New York City, the School of Constructed Environments at Parsons The New School for Design presents a two-day colloquiumexploring the interconnectedness of creativity, urban ecology and community. The event provides a window into an ongoing exchange between designers, curators, architects, planners, and social researchers from Phnom Penh and New York.

 

April 6

6:30 PM-9:00 PM
Keynote Lecture and Panel Discussion
Free registration here
Welcome:
Joel Towers, Executive Dean, Parsons The New School for Design
Introduction to Cambodian Living Arts:
Arn Chorn-Pond, Founder, Cambodian Living Arts
John Burt, Founding Board Chair Emeritus, Cambodian Living Arts, and Chairman, Season of CambodiaIntroduction to Season of Cambodia:
Phloeun Prim, CEO, Season of Cambodia, Executive Director of Cambodian Living Arts
Elena ParkSeason of Cambodia, Senior Festival Advisor

Keynote Address:
Refuge, Diaspora and Return: Cosmopolitan Phnom Penh
William Greaves, Director of Vann Molyvann Project

Panel Discussion:
Arts and Urban Development in New York and Phnom Penh

William Morrish, Professor of Urban Ecology, Parsons The New School for Design
Brian McGrath, Research Chair in Urban Design, Parsons The New School for Design
Fred Frumberg, Cambodia Line Producer, Executive Director, Amrita Performing Arts
Erin GleesonSeason of Cambodia Visual Art Program Co-Curator, and Artistic Director, SaSa Bassac

Full event info here: 

Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Auditorium, Sheila C. Johnson Design Center – Parsons The New School for Design, 66 Fifth Avenue, New York

April 7

10:00 AM-5:00 PM
Full-day Colloquium in Three Acts
Free registration hereScholars, researchers, students, arts organizers, artists, policymakers, urbanists and designers from both New York and Cambodia will participate in a series of workshops and dialogues focused on how creativity fuels cities and how development and commodification dampens art production. This will include conversations on the role of public art, festivals, cultural district formation, and the distribution of arts and of artists in cities and towns; and will address such issues such as design, media, ecology, and youth development.

10:00 AM – Act 1:
Geo-body of the Living Arts City 

Icebreaking Workshop
Moderated by WIlliam Morrish and Irene Leung

1:00 PM – Act  2:
The Production of Space in the Living Arts City
 
Panel Discussion
Moderated by Radhika Subramaniam
Rescue Archeology: Documents of Performance Art from Phnom Penh

Film screening Leeza Ahmady and Erin Gleeson
Our City Festival: Cultivating Communities
Presentation Shelby Doyle3:00 PM – Act 3:
Re-envisioning the City through Art and Urban Community

Living Arts District Workshop

Speakers: Khvay Samnang, Lim Sokchanlina, andVuth Lyno
Moderated by Brian McGrathFull event info here: 

Theresa Lang Community and Student Center, Arnhold Hall – The New School, 55 West 13th Street, 2nd Floor, New York

Photo credit: Sareth Svay, Mon Boulet, 2011, Performance, Courtesy the artist

Water, Politics and Art: Contemporary Contexts for Architecture and Urbanism in Phnom Penh

An upcoming exhibition at Parsons about Phnom Penh, Cambodia – combining work from my Fulbright research, work by my students and by Parsons students. More soon.

Water, Politics and Art: Contemporary Contexts for Architecture and Urbanism in Phnom Penh
April 5-May 10, 2013
Opening Reception: April 10, 6:00-8:00 PM
School of Constructed Environments Gallery
25 East 13th Street, 2nd Floor
Parsons The New School for Design, New York

Water, Politics and Art offers an introduction to Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia, as a Living Arts City. Phnom Penh is located at the confluence of the Mekong, Tonlé Sap, and Basaac Rivers, an intersection known as the ‘Four Faces’ or ‘Chaktomuk’. This fluid geography creates architectural and urban conditions both sustained by and subject to the cyclical floods of the city’s rivers, producing challenges for Phnom Penh as it rapidly urbanizes in a flood plain. After decades of civil war and unrest, economic and political stability have brought foreign investment and extensive change to the city and its landscape. However in the absence of access to data, documentation, political transparency or a locally supported strategic plan, heavy-handed development practices are directing a new type of urban transition for the residents of Phnom Penh. Students from Royal University of Fine Arts, Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, Cambodian Mekong University, Norton University and Pannasastra University of Cambodia as well as Parsons The New School for Design present work that describes the reality of this urban transition, as well as alternative strategies for the future of Phnom Penh. Shelby Doyle, a faculty member at Parsons who was a 2011-2012 Fulbright research fellow based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, curates the exhibition. Her research is entitled City of Water: Architecture, Infrastructure, and the Floods of Phnom Penh. The exhibition is made possible through the support of Michele and Steve Pesner and Setpheap (Peace) San.