Surprising Trip to “Phnom Penh Evolution”

Walking about five minutes through a narrow street surrounded by old tall buildings and some small shops, we (Me and two other friends) started thinking that it wasn’t the place where our friend recommended us to go. Lots of eyes from some strange people standing on the sides of the road were staring on us like we were aliens from mysterious world and this made us more inconvenient in walking through.We felt more strange after we had arrived the spot because everything around us were not mentioned in our friend’s description and even the stairs connected from one floor to another were wet so that we had to be careful as we walked to the upper floors.

For me, it is hard to imagine that a lot of wonderful photos were showed in a small room in the second floor of an anarchy building, but it did. Actually, in a new painted room on that floor, there was 10 people inside already and there was a screening of some photos that will be showed in the upcoming photography exhibition at Bophana Audiovisual Resource Center. We are lucky to have chance watching the photos before someone else and learning some techniques of shooting photos from those photographers.

“Phnom Penh Evolution” is the photography exhibition on the ongoing transformation of Phnom Penh. All photos were shot by Cambodian photographers who have strong interest in social changing though some of them don’t have a modern camera to shoot it.

Below are the summaries of what each person have done (Taken from a poster given during the screening this afternoon):


… In 1979, Borei Kela was the former place where sportsmen lived; it was where people came to stay and build small huts that were affordable to live in. they started their living by growing vegetables and feeling fish, and hence, buildings were built in accordance with the development of the country…


… In the early 2000s, Phnom Penh became a booming city where the price of property sky rocketed. Hundreds of flats were built, and as a result, the city dwellers had to adjust to a new lifestyle. Now, Phnom Penh has become a city within an old one…

WRAPPED FUTURE, by: LIM Sokchanlina

… The memory of one particular place becomes surrounded by developing areas marked by the boards. A few persons know, but most of the people do not know exactly what will happen here. For myself, I am wondering too. Will there be a skyscraper? A park? Or a private area? Worry is mix with appreciation of what will happen to that particular area…


… Phnom Penh is the heart of Cambodia. This city became a paradise for me since I saw it for the first time, 18 years ago. I was choosing the subject concern “Phnom Penh’s street” so that I could focus on taking photos of the city’s streets…

The Photo Exhibition on Phnom Penh Evolution will open on Thursday, September 2nd 2010, at 6:30pm at Bophana Audiovisual Resource Center
For Bophana Audiovisual Resource Center website Click Here
For more information about the exhibition Click Here
by: Dara Saoyuth

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Dara Saoyuth

Coming from a simple family in Kampot province of Cambodia, I’ve spent most part of my teenage years in learning and working. Through those experiences, I’ve built myself up from the ground and finally, become an entrepreneur running a media production company with my co-founder.

I believe that no matter situation or position we are in, we can be great at what we are doing and get what we want when we put our heart and soul into that.