Cambodia is known as a country that’s rich in culture, arts and architecture. But through war, internal conflicts, the splendid arts and culture have somehow been forgotten by its own people. Since the last three decades, the arts scene in Cambodia has been growing. This was made possible by the effort of government institutions and arts NGOs such as the Cambodian Living Arts.
To promote, revive and spread the role of arts, Cambodian Living Arts, in collaboration with Pannasastra University of Cambodia, has paved the way for arts curriculum to be part of PUC’s educational offering in April. The new programme will enable students to build their knowledge in arts and culture of their own nation.
So Phina, Programme Manager of Knowledge, Networks and Policy of CLA, said, “We have been collaborating with PUC for a long time now. Teachers and students have joined and supported our programmes actively as such Arts for Transformation from 2017 until the present. In this programme, students get to understand how arts played its role in a post war country such Cambodia.”
She added that the programme also allows students to interact and exchange their knowledge directly with artists and cultural practitioners, field visit to arts spaces, critical discussion on their roles as citizens to learn more on the roles of arts.
“It has been influenced students’ perception positively. That is the reason CLA want to pilot this programme in university. Students will get to learn a lot of arts expert. If it works, we will have further programme for this arts subject. Importantly, they can go to see the situation of arts and artists by visiting other arts organisation across the country through tour study”
Once students understand, Phina said, they can become arts advocates or supporters and help promote arts across the country and the globe.
“Arts is a broad subject. So people can use this form of arts to develop their society as individual or as community. And they also can think critically, they can also think about integration of arts with other sectors of a developing society such as understanding politics, history and how these things can go together to heal a country that had been through war.”
Phina hopes that a lot of young people as well as university students will be interested in arts and its important role in the society. When young people will grow to love the real Cambodian arts, they can be strong catalyst for the betterment of the local art scene.
To further understand CLA and PUC’s new programme, join the “Arts for Transformation” sharing session on March 1 at 4 pm in the Hall A of PUC.