As alumni of the Royal University of Fine Arts (RUFA) returned to retrieve paintings they had made for their assignments, a well-known Cambodian photographer spotted one of his among the pile.
A three-month program that makes up The Cambodian Living Arts’ (CLA) cultural season kicked off on Thursday and will run through September 23 with the theme Exploring Identities. It will feature performances, panel discussions, film screenings, exhibitions and workshops.
The Cambodian Post office was built in 1890, then eventually restored and fully reopened in 2004. It fronts a small square on Street 13 — really Cambodian Post office is just a widening of the road — and is surrounded by other examples of colonial architecture in various states of upkeep. The post office is open 07:30 to 17:00, with a healthy two-hour lunch break from noon. Stamp collectors can make impulse purchases at the philatelic counter.
A mass grave for victims of one of the worst manifestations of control, paranoia and terror created by the Khmer Rouge, Choeung Ek was the preferred execution site for people who had been through Tuol Sleng, or S-21, the Khmer Rouge’s most notorious detention and interrogation centre. At the former school, more than 14,000 men, women and children were kept and tortured until they confessed to “crimes” against the regime which, in the overwhelming majority of cases, they most certainly could not have committed. Choeung Ek is one of thousands of similar sites across Cambodia.
A magnificent construction that lives with a constant threat of destruction, the Olympic Stadium is a metaphor for the short-sighted mindlessness, grubbiness and political manoeuvring that attend a great deal of Phnom Penh urban “planning”.
Better get there while you can before the lumpen barbarians win. Murmurings of demolition and redevelopment persist, despite carefully-worded reassurances from the Overseas Cambodian Investment Corporation, which has been developing land close to the National Sports Complex (the stadium’s official name). What will happen here once a new national stadium, sponsored by China, is completed, is anyone’s guess.
Cambodia’s former cinema buildings were indicative of the country’s famous architecture before the civil war. However, at the present time, most of the young generation is not aware of these buildings. This is the main reason “Amazing Cambodia” started to collect all existing old cinema photos – to allow Khmer people, both old and young, to be aware of the great architecture that existed in the past. Amazing Cambodia is a Facebook page whose purpose is to collect Cambodian historical images, music, films and other things of cultural importance and share them to everyone domestically and internationally.
In an interview with realestate.com.kh, Mr. Srin Sokmean, founder of Amazing Cambodia, describes the way and why he compiles all those old cinema building photos.