Cambodian Creativity

25 Aug

I have just returned form Cambodia, where my eyes have further been opened. Opened to the amazing things people are doing over there to rebuild the society; children’s homes for orphans, work opportunities for ex-sex industry workers, hugely improved roads, Arts therapy, teaching programmes for youth living in slums.

I saw all of these things, and my heart is defenatly changed! It’s brimming with ideas, and asking “What part do I play in helping others?”

Whilst over there I built an opinion based on the Creative things that I saw. In Cambodia you see whole streets devoted to the same products, electronics, baby clothes… you name it.  There is a street devoted to paintings, and walking down that street I saw the same paintings repeated again and again and it is a long row! These paintings are created by different artists but they look the same. Mimics. Replicas. Each painted by hand by a devoted and skilled painter, but seemly each a painter who was not open to trying something new…

I went to see a performance. Live drumming with tribal dance. All I can say for this performance is that it was lacking something that you might see in the West… emotion. The dance pieces were based on mimicking animals (seemingly monkeys and meerkats) they were rituals of grooming, hunting and survival showing excellent physicality and stamina. When coupled with what I saw on the painting row, I just started to wonder how far has the oppression of the Khmer Rouge affected mind-sets towards creative expression? You may say that what I saw is tradition, but personally, I am thinking that the “mimicking” I saw in the art is a natural response to the fear of a nation which has been oppressed for years. If so, this ‘cap on creativity’ in the mind of individuals needs to be lifted of Cambodia!

I am applauding any Arts therapists in Cambodia. Creativity holds the key to releasing trapped emotion in a nation severely wounded.

Wounded, but not beyond repair.

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2 Responses to “Cambodian Creativity”

  1. Izzy August 26, 2011 at 9:56 am #

    Weirdly, I wrote a blog about an art therapist in Cambodia!

    Izzy xxx

    • joannelindsay August 26, 2011 at 10:06 am #

      Wow! I would like to read that! What is your blogg address? xx

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