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Cambodia: War and Beauty photographic exhibition opens at FCC Angkor by Avani
Cambodian School boy. Photo: David Feingold.

SIEM REAP.- FCC Angkor by Avani presents a photo exhibition entitled “Cambodia: War and Beauty” by award winning documentary filmmaker, Dr. David A. Feingold. The exhibition draws on Feingold’s rich experience documenting Cambodia’s history through the lens of culture, politics and war. Divided into four themes covering war, culture, transition to pace and the impact of landmines, visitors will have a chance to experience the contrasts, continuities, and changes in Cambodia over the span of 30 years, as experienced by Feingold.

Feingold first visited Cambodia as an undergraduate in 1961 and returned in 1964, prior to the start of the civil war. This visit resulted in his ongoing interest in Cambodia. In 1986, after two-decades, he returned to Cambodia to conduct field research and film in the refugee camps along the Thai border.

The exhibit includes singular images taken both inside the Site 2 refugee camp, revealing the resilience of the Cambodian people and their determination to overcome the repression under the Khmer Rouge regime, and in Khmer Rouge controlled camps in the mid 1980’s. There are also unique images of Khmer Rouge troops in the jungle. The exhibition also concentrates on Khmer dance. It is through these achingly beautiful images that Feingold vividly shows how Khmer dance became not only a form of struggle against the repression of political regimes, but also an essential ingredient in the survival of Khmer Culture.

The slow transition from war to peace in the 1990s overseen by the United Nations and the return of His Majesty King Norodom Sihanouk as King of Cambodia offer a vivid glimpse of the tensions of secular politics, legacy of war and celebration of peace.

Feingold’s mastery of the camera and ability to connect with his subjects, is ever present in the powerful images of landmines, their devastating impact on the national psyche and the courage and skill that is needed to remove them.

Feingold is a research anthropologist and an award-winning documentary filmmaker. He is currently director of the Ophidian Research Institute/Ophidian Films Ltd. For fifteen years, he served as International Coordinator for HIV/AIDS and Trafficking at UNESCO, Bangkok. He has conducted extensive field research in Southeast Asia over five decades, particularly among Akha and Shan peoples and in Cambodia.

Feingold’s films have been made for PBS, NBC, ABC, BBC, CH-4 (U.K.), FR-3(France) and National Geographic. His Cambodian films include investigations of the politics of refugees on the Thai-Cambodian border, the conservation of Angkor in 1988, the interior of the Khmer Rouge movement, the impact of landmines and the conflict over the temple of Preah Vihear.

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