Monday, November 24, 2008

Angkor Photography Festival 2008

Yesterday my friend Deborah Groves, an Australian photographer based in Siem Reap, asked me to join her for the launch of the 4th Angkor Photography Festival.
The site of the event: the FCC--which had glasses of wine on offer for USD2.50. There was also a buffet meal but I did not check out how much it was. I did notice the Cambodian mothers with children hanging around, as the grounds of the FCC are not fenced.
People sat on mats watching the slideshow presentation of the photos. I spoke with a Dutch man who is with Foam, the Museum of Photography in Amsterdam. Actually, we got to talking because he was teaching me to switch off the flash on my camera in order to take clearer photos of the slides--I was amongst photographers after all! I asked if he came here specially for the festival but he said he was here already for a holiday. He assumed I was Khmer and said, "I think the next presentation should be by a Cambodian photographer". (There was some speech going on at that point in time).
The first photo shown on the slides. I left soon after as I did not "get" those photos at all. I asked Deborah what makes the photos special, and she said it is like art, some people will like it and some won't. Well, the photos I saw did not "speak" to me at all. But I was wondering if it had to do with the presentation- a slideshow where each photo was shown for what 5, or 10 seconds, displayed against a background of French music. Maybe I would have appreciated the photos better if they were hung up and I could take my time?

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