Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Bophana News

For anyone already in or going to Phnom Penh, the Bophana Center may be well worth a visit. Its the home of the Audiovisual Resource Center at number 64, Street 200, which has adopted several missions: collection of the images and sounds of the Cambodian memory and making them available to a wide public, training Cambodians in the audiovisual professions by welcoming foreign film productions and by its own artistic projects. They have hosted photography exhibitions and film screenings and are now completing their first documentary on Khmer cuisine. After five days of filming in Ta Kong village in Kompong Cham province, the audiovisual team is currently preparing a 26-minute documentary to provide a social and historical reading of Cambodian cuisine: recipes handed down from generation to generation, choices of ingredients and traditional utensils. The viewer is introduced to the history of dishes and memories of forgotten flavors while at the same time getting acquainted with the life of a local family and its background.

From July 12 to October 12, the Bophana Center will be putting on an exhibition by painter Vann Nath. He uses his canvasses to depict what happened to him in the early months of 1978, from the time he was arrested by the Khmer Rouge in Battambang until he was transferred to the Tuol Sleng Prison in Phnom Penh. As an extra, the exhibition is featuring the painter's memories that were recorded in the Center's sound studio. In them, the painter comments about his pictures, thus sharing the process of creating the images that provide both a memory and tangible evidence of resistance against barbarity. While the Vann Nath painting exhibition is going on, several screenings are planned, including documentaries and reports on the Khmer Rouge era taken from the Hanuman database. They will be put on during July and August in the Paris Eden Cinema Room of the Bophana Center. For more information, click here.

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