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WANDERING SOULS (aka Requiem for Cambodia)
Arts, Community, History, Human Rights, Refugees, Rural, Social Justice
In October 2017 a world tour of a new stage production premiered in Melbourne, Bangsokol: A Requiem for Cambodia, is a unique fusion of music, voice, movement and projected images commemorating the 2 million Cambodians who died at the hands of the Communist driven Khmer Rouge regime while celebrating the renaissance of an artistic life that has all but disappeared. The Requiem has been commissioned by Cambodian Living Arts a not-for-profit organization. CLA’s vision is to revive their lost arts & bring international attention to a world still besieged by conflict, that the arts can be a powerful tool for healing and play a role in rebuilding war torn societies.Over one year, this documentary charts the staging of the Requiem interweaving heart-wrenching accounts of survival of those involved.The Requiem’s principal creators are childhood survivors, world renowned filmmaker Rithy Panh, and Cambodia’s premier composer, Him Sophy. They are collaborating for the first time to bring their traumatic shared history to a world audience.Most Cambodians are Buddhists who believe the dead will not rest in peace or be reborn without proper religious rituals. The Requiem’s libretto is based on Bangsokol the Khmer Buddhist ritual for the dead. The music is a combination of traditional Khmer instruments and vocalists and Western chamber music and chorus. Projected on a screen is a triptych of images from Rithy Panh’s earlier films, archival footage and new footage presenting a visual history of Cambodia’s recent past illuminating the meaning of the musical work.This stage production is huge for impoverished Cambodia. The loss of most of Cambodia’s artists and intellectuals left a cultural wasteland taking generations to reverse. Realising they couldn’t do it alone CLA called on international performing arts professionals to help. New York based theatre & events specialist, Rachel Chanoff, is producer. Australian Gideon Obarzanek, a world-renowned director & choreographer, is Director of Staging and Trent Walker an American scholar with years of experience studying Asian Buddhist texts, ritual and music has written the libretto. Phloeun Prim, the charismatic Executive Director of CLA, himself a child survivor, is responsible for finding the funds. Over 3 years he travelled the world appealing to arts organisations, philanthropists and governments to become partners.With no suitable theatre or experienced western-style musicians in Cambodia, the production needed somewhere to rehearse and the Government of Taiwan helped by providing a theatre and Philharmonic Orchestra in Taipei for their first full rehearsal …and we were there to shoot it. The film follows their stories through pre-production leading up to the Melbourne premiere performance before it tours to New York, Boston, Paris and eventually Cambodia.
Molly and Mobarak
Human Rights, Refugees, Rural, Social Justice, Youth
CODES OF CONDUCT
Community, Disability, Education, History, Human Rights, Refugees, Rural, Social Justice
CODES OF CONDUCT is a short documentary series and online educational portal that investigates the increasingly disturbing modern phenomena of young men committing physical and psychological violence. \n\nAccording to the Australian Bureau of Statistics males between the age 18 – 24 years have the highest incidence of physical assault in society which is characteristically perpetrated by more than one male who is unknown to the victim at the time of assault and which typically remains unreported to police authorities.\n\nUsing an innovative first person POV narrative technique, CODES OF CONDUCT will present a stylised series of short animated ‘memories’ that instantly immerse the user into the random and confronting world of violence in male behaviour.\n\nThis animated series of intimate and confronting 3-minute documentary episodes will analyse the anatomy of a common assault and introduce users to a content-rich site exploring a multitude of perspectives on such events. \n \nFeaturing interviews with victims, perpetrators, experts and a range of educational material and interactive elements, CODES OF CONDUCT will be an intriguing, challenging and educational experience for users.\n\nThe CODES OF CONDUCT site will be designed to resonate with the themes depicted in the documentary series. It will offer users a smooth and intuitive interface where content is curated by topical themes including:\n\n• view the 3 x 3 minute episode series “Assailants”, “Detention”, and “Intervention”;\n• view interviews with perpetrators who explain the behavioural triggers that led to their violence;\n• view interviews of men who have been the victims of violence who discuss their experiences and the impact it has had on their lives;\n• view interviews with a series of experts that charts the history of “Codes” that dictate group male behaviour;\n• view interviews with members of sports and male social clubs or groupings that have an explicit social “code”;\n• read and download educational, legal and psychological resources around male violence;\n• engage with clips from the series via an interactive menu that prompts the user to learn more about the issues surrounding male violence through multiple choice questions and other features.\n\nRather than simplifying this issue into a “victim vs perpetrator” debate, CODES OF CONDUCT will offer deeper, multi-dimensional content that sheds light on this increasingly more pervasive issue of our times.