Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Hectic night

The Reyum exhibition was an opportunity to touch base with Youk Chhang, director of DC-Cam
Last night was a hectic one. I skivved off work to attend the 5pm opening of the Living Hell exhibition at Reyum, next to the National Museum, where Swede Gunnar Bergstrom returned to Cambodia after an absence of thirty years to apologise for his support of the Khmer Rouge regime at the time of his 1978 visit, and to present an exhibit of his personal photos and his memories. With the support of DC-Cam, a book, Gunnar in the Living Hell, has been produced and Bergstrom gave a detailed account to last night's packed Reyum audience of his visit and his views today. It was also an opportunity for me to touch base with Youk Chhang, the director of DC-Cam, whom I first met a decade ago.
After dinner at the Rising Sun with friends, Tim and I made our way to Meta House for a preview of the forthcoming Khmer rock opera, Where Elephants Weep. Producer John Burt gave an impassioned overview of the project whilst composer Him Sophy gave us his insight into this unique work that will kick-off at the Chenla Theatre on 28 November, with the public performances set for 5, 6 & 7 December with tickets costing $2-12. Members of the cast were present and two of the opera's musicians gave us a sample of what to expect. It certainly sounds like a performance that will be worth watching. For Tim and I the night extended onto some of the city's nightspots. I'm pleased to report that the medicine prescribed by my doctor at the weekend is having a positive effect on my skin infection and I look almost human again!
Visitors to Reyum look at some of the photos on display
A television camera catches some of the speech by Gunnar Bergstrom, on his 1st visit back to Cambodia since 1978
Producer John Burt (left) introduces composer Him Sophy to the audience at last night's Meta House preview
A hectic night, but still time enough for some brotherly bonding at the Meta House's Intersection exhibition. Tim is on the left.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Andy
may we have a sample of Bergstrom's pics?
Thanks, Gordon

November 19, 2008 6:33 PM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

Ah Gordon, I cannot provide any as I didn't take any photos of them. I was expecting to get a copy of the book before I left the event but decided to buy it another day, so don't have any photos of the photos! They were taken in 1978 and the quality of reproduction wasn't great, but then maybe the quality of his camera may not have been great too. I recall my own pictures I took around that time and they were poor as well.
However the pictures do represent an interesting view & spotlight on Cambodia at a time when some of the worse excesses had already been committed by the Khmer Rouge regime and yet this 4-person Swedish delegation travelled through parts of the country and essentially didn't see anything untoward. The KR were masters of deception if nothing else.
Sorry Gordon.

November 19, 2008 9:58 PM  

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