Journey to Cambodia 11 February - 23 March 2008

A project on French colonial and modernist 1960's architecture brought Astrid to Cambodia. The main focus was on Battambang, Cambodia’s third largest city, which still has a large number of colonial buildings in its centre. However, many are under tread to be modernised or even demolished.
A current building and foreign investment boom has raised awareness to save cultural heritage. Cambodia’s cities and towns are rather sleepy and don’t yet compete with other South - East Asian cities. On the other hand, the facades of local streets are adopting western characteristics such as large billboards, concrete and glass as building materials and rising floor levels.

The German Development Service (DED) is currently supporting the city of Battambang , which is working on a co-operational project on city planning and structural improvements. Inspired by the given information Astrid spend some additional time photographed buildings all over Cambodia and found them to be evidential of recent history.

Impermanent Utopia
(A Cambodian tale of constant change and instability)

What comes to mind when you think of Cambodia? Is it Angkor Wat’s ancient civilization or the Khmer Rouge as just another human made disaster, based on idealistic ideas? Interestingly enough we can never avoid finding silent signs of ‘long time gone’ stories. Weather or not we are able to understand them is another question. It may just be a heap of stones, a pile of rubble perhaps, telling us some facts. Is it the stones that are so interesting or is it the people who left them behind?

Image archive link: Kep - by the beach