Sep 22 2012

Our City Festival

Published by at 1:55 am under Events

Art, Architecture and Ideas. That’s the focus of Our City Festival, a celebration and examination of urban spaces in Cambodia. Running from 28 September to 7 October 2012 in Phnom Penh and Battambang, the festival uses photography, film, dance and installations to provoke discussion. Cambodia has been known to knock up some world-renowned buildings, and Phnom Penh’s colonial architecture is wonderful, but this festival also looks at the impacts of modern development. If you’re a bit of a building buff or a town planning geek, this festival is for you.

A shy colonial mansion

A shy colonial mansion.

Our City has grown this year to more than 30 projects in 15 locations, with the Battambang listings a new addition for 2012. Damnow/The Journey in Battambang is an exhibition of then and now photographs, documenting change of 100 years. You can join in with an ARTitechtual Tour by bicycle and take in canals and hidden temples on a 25 kilometre ride of discovery round the country’s third most populated city.

In Phnom Penh, Mekong Flux is particularly relevant during the rainy season, showing time lapse images from the same Phnom Penh ferry dock for 25 weeks from April to September this year. Alongside, an installation will graph the 10 metre rise in the water, demonstrating the depth against buildings. Artist Kong Vollak, a graduate of the Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh, is inviting participants to Walk The City for his interactive installation.

Not too shabby

Not too shabby.

Phnom Penh’s central railway station is an interesting relic which could get more use if plans to bring back rail transport succeed. During the festival, visit to see a video of families who live trackside and experience a train travelling through their living space several times a week.

Phnom Penh is full of architectural gems that are rapidly disappearing. The Hidden Sometimes Forgotten exhibition at The Plantation is by young Khmer photographer Chea Phal, focussing on 12 structures in the city that he has explored and documented through the changing light of the day.

The other side of town living

The other side of town living.

As headline grabbers, expect to see a wall being built, destroyed and then built again daily, flash mobs and a Public Square in curious places. The festival will be launched in Phnom Penh at 18:30 on 28 September at No Problem Park (55, Street 178) opposite the Royal University of Fine Arts. Download a programme from the festival website.

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