Autumn is the time for international photo festivals, and in Southeast Asia, Photo Phnom Penh in Cambodia has emerged as one of the most interesting in recent years. The festival, which will be held for the ninth time this year, will create synergies between Asian and European photographers and highlight the new Cambodian photography.
The 14 photographers presented during this year's festival appear as a loosely curated selection of photographic themes and practices of varying levels; from acclaimed press photographers like Mak Remissa and renowned art photographers like JH Engström, to passionate amateur photographers like Ly Min.
Photo of change
Two of the exhibitors – Korean Daesung Lee and Russian Alexey Shlyk – stand out with their ability to tell stories that people and objects carry. They both use photography to point to slow changes in both landscape and culture, each telling in its own way about the near-breaking point of our consumption.
As we study graphs of estimated CO2 levels, and hold conferences and international summits where we try to adopt the levels of future emissions and wonder how much the Earth's temperature can withstand, we hear about people in other parts of the world who live in very precarious situations due to climate change. How to photograph something that happens so slowly, which is not individual and dramatic events, but changes over time?
"Photography must embody feelings, questions and deep thoughts." Christian Cajoulle
In the project On the shore of a vanishing island Korean Daesung Lee does this by staging the people who live in the landscape. The people we meet in the pictures carry in them the slow development that we are not able to perceive with our sensory apparatus: The Bengal boy from the island of Gohramarah looks straight at us from a small earth wall. . .
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