Category - Personal Interest/Experience

Photo Exhibition on “LIFE ALONG THE RAILS”

Showing his interest, a visitor is looking closely at the photo / by: Dara Saoyuth

Showing his interest, a visitor is looking closely at the photo / by: Dara Saoyuth

Spending almost a whole day in front of my computer screen made me headache, so this evening, I hurried to go out after I was invited by my friends to join a photo exhibition under the theme LIFE ALONG THE RAILS.

As soon as I arrived the place, I saw photos by a 31-year-old Conor Wall from Ireland was printed in large size and stuck to the walls of the room, and many people mostly are foreigners gathered around to see the photos.

Visitors gathering around to see the photos and some are communicating with people who have the same interest / By: Dara Saoyuth

Visitors gathering around to see the photos and some are communicating with people who have the same interest / By: Dara Saoyuth

In the exhibition, there were around 20 photos to be displayed and all of them showed the daily lives of people living along the tracks.

“I first became interested in the lives of people living along the railway tracks two years ago when I used to walk along the rails in Boeung Kok. I took photos of locals there, going back again and again to shoot more and return prints to those in the pictures. I never really had a plan to publish or exhibit those shots. I was just doing it because I enjoyed it,” said Cornor Wall, who first came to Cambodia in 2004.

Who know the purpose of showing these photos?

Actually, I don’t have answer to the question, but I think that he wants us, especially human right activists to pay more attention on people over there since the government is working on the reconstruction of the railway tracks. More people might face eviction from their home, so on the railway, we won’t be able to see vendors selling or children playing on it anymore…

To know more about Conor Wall and his Photography and Story Portfolio, check his website by CLICKING HERE
by: Dara Saoyuth

My Last Day at Agence France-Presse (AFP)

This is my place during my intern at AFP, and papers on the desk are what I have to read every morning / by: Dara Saoyuth

This is my place during my intern at AFP, and papers on the desk are what I have to read every morning / by: Dara Saoyuth

Today is the last day for me at Agence France-Presse (AFP), so I have to say goodbye to everybody there though I don’t want to leave them. Spending two months intern at a news agency, I have learned a lot more than what I expected.

What have you learned from your intern?

To answer the above question precisely, I need a lot of pages to write down my idea, and everybody might leave this article after seeing its long content. What I wrote below is not the report for my university. It’s just a note to wrap up my intern period (12/07/2010 – 10/09/2010). Cheers,

First of all, I cannot forget my first day when I met only Patrick Falby, a former AFP bureau Chief in Cambodia, while everybody was on holiday. He showed me my place for the next two months and asked me to read Khmer newspapers of that day and I had to tell him what I found interesting. I finished it just a few minutes before I left for lunch, so he asked me whether I can find 5 story ideas when we met after lunchtime. I was very happy when 3 of my stories were accepted, and he told me to select one among the three stories which I can finish writing within a week. I started my story and then I found out that it’s not an easy task to cover each feature, and that’s the reason why I did only one feature during my two-month intern. Beside from working on my own story, I had to go with Patrick to help him getting quotes from Cambodian people since he does not know Khmer much.

A short time later, Patrick left Cambodia, so I have to be under the supervision of Mr. Suy Se (I normally call him Bong Se), a Cambodian AFP correspondent. He seems to be a strict person, but I can see the kindness inside his heart, especially when he left the office late because of helping me editing my feature story. Though sometimes he did, but I feel that Bong Se doesn’t want to give direct tutorial to me, for example he just assigned me to write a story and after he edited it, he printed the edited version for me to compare with my version. I have to accept that there are a lot of things I have learnt from him counting from how to interview different sources to how to write a story. He also spent a lot of him times telling me what’s different between working for wire service and working for local newspaper because he also used to be a writer for one local paper.

Another person that I also cannot forget is Mr. Tang ChhinSothy (I normally called him Bong Thy), a photographer for AFP in Cambodia. I have to admire his skills in shooting photo because all photos from him look great to me. When I have free time, mostly I take my camera and run after him when he went to shoot any photo. He taught me some techniques on how to take a photo with better quality and focus. You see, I have learned a lot not only writing but also photo shooting. That’s why I said I have learned more than I expected.

Two-day stike end with agreement on half of the 24 demands

Yesterday morning, I got up early after I had recieved a phone call from my friend who informed me that there would be a protest outside the Vattanac Capital tower on Monivong Boulevard that morning. “Oh, Shit! Why this news start up my day? Nothing better than this?,” I asked myself while my hands were pushing two notebooks, one card book, my camera, recorder, and some more accessories into my backpack.

At around 7:20am, I arrived at the spot and saw hundreds of workers walking outside the workplace gate as they were striking for better pay and work conditions. I asked a worker who walked pass me, and he told me that he joint this protest because he could not stand anymore with a daily wage of $3.50 wage and $0.75 extra if they work overtime.

I haven’t count the number of protesters, but the report from some famous local newspapers said there were more than 700 protesters joint this two-day strike.

The latest news I got this morning said both sides (the company side and the worker side) agreed to the 12 points, which are priorities for our construction workers, among 24 demands submitted by workers after two hours of negotiations yesterday.

The 38-story Vattanac Capital tower was started construting in 2009 and set to be completed in 2012. It will house the head office of Vattanac Bank, a business centre and Vattanac Capital.

I have seen lots of protest, but this is the second time that I saw construction workers dare to express thier worries, angers, and demands through the strikes.

How many more strikes will be happened in the Kingdom in the future? And what kind of solutions will be used to solve the problems?


Below are some photos I shot during the second day protest and I decided to post it for my dear visitors to see clearly the situation at that time.


Related stories: 1. High-rise employees strike over new shifts
2. Confrontation between Boeung Kak Lake and Security Forces
by: Dara Saoyuth

Burma VJ: Reporting from a Closed Country

Tonight, I am very lucky to have watched “Burma VJ” from the start till the end of the screening time at Meta House.  This is a documentary film which you should not miss if you are interested in journalistic work.

The film shows a group of young video journalists who try to bring news about the protesting in Burma in 2007 to the outside world. For them, capturing news out to the world is more important than their own safety because sometimes they have been arrested by the police officers that they don’t want journalist to broadcast news about the protesting. Some parts of the film was shot on hand-held cameras and the footage was smuggled out of the country mainly by internet and was later broadcast back to Burma and the world via satellite.

For official website of Burma VJ movie, Click Here
By: Dara Saoyuth

Motorcycling in the City

13/08/2010, Phnom Penh – It’s about 12:30pm after I’ve finished my lonely lunch. Don’t wanna rush back to the office, so I decided to call 3 of my friends (Tivea from the Phnom Penh Post, Makara and Pheaktra from the Economic Magazine) to leave their offices to ride around the city. Thanks them to have spent their time enjoying a trip under a cloudy sky together. Let’s see photos we get from the trip. Thanks Tivea for shooting those wonderful photos for me while I’m riding…Cheers,[slideshow]



Related Story: Motor Cycling in the City (Part II)

by: Dara Saoyuth


A Night in My New House

Sunday, May 9, 2010, the day I moved into my new rented flat. I used to live in a room with a person who come from the same province as me, but I have to find another place to live with my father when he is back from pursuing his study in USA. My first step on the floor of my new accommodation, I noticed that everything is much different from what it was in my previous rented room. In my previous place, there are a lot of stores and it is a bit crowded even at night, while there are only two small store next to my flat and the road is empty at night.

Since I have been in Phnom Penh, I dare to say this is the first time I have to live alone. The first day, my mother came here to help me clean our new house and to comfort me as she knows I never be a lone like this before. However, I know she can not be there all the time since she had to go back to our house in the province. The first thing I did is to start making contact with my new neighbors and learn to sleep alone in a lonely quiet house as well.

A night after my mother left for the province, my book was still in my hand even it was 1pm already. I was almost unable to sleep that night since I have the feeling of lonely, and a bit fear of the house spirits because I did not light the incense stick and do not offer food to the spirits as well. Thanks to our neighbors’ noise that make me feel comfort to sleep. They were still chatting that time, so I felt I can always ask for help if something wrong happen to me. It’s a silly idea!!!

Since that night, everything is all right. To me, this is a wonderful experience that teach me how to do something on my own and to have a confident for the thing I do.

Written by: Dara Saoyuth

Written date: 16/05/2010

A Day at Ly Bunyim’s House

On Thursday, May 13, 2010, I have watched a film called 12 sisters. This is a great film produced in 1960s by Mr. Ly Bunyim, one of the most well-known Cambodian film makers in the golden age. I was really hook in the film.

My friend and I met him at his house in Kandal province, where he show his film “12 sisters” to us. He is a friendly man that said yes instantly after we told him that we want to interview him about the film industry during 1960s. I really appreciate him for spending time giving us the interview, showing his film to us, and giving us some of his photos. Below, I post some photos I took from the scene in his film, 12 sisters and I also post some of his film posters as well as our group photo with him.

Scene from the film "12 Sister"

Scene from the film "12 Sister"

Scene from the film "12 Sister"

Scene from the film "12 Sister"

A poster of the film "12 sisters"

A poster of the film "12 sisters"

A poster of the film "Khmer after Angkor"

A poster of the film "Khmer after Angkor"

We Have a Group Photo with Ly Bunyim

We Have a Group Photo with Ly Bunyim

Written by: Dara Saoyuth

Written date: 14/05/2010