From November 25th to December 3rd, forty of our students participated in the Anjali Photo Workshops, part of the 15th edition of the Angkor Photo Festival. These workshops have a special place in our heart – Anjali House was originally founded as part of the festival!
For seven days, the children explored Siem Reap and its surroundings, looking for the perfect photograph. By searching for interesting places or moments, they learned to sharpen their photographic eye. They visited the Tonle Sap, Buddhist pagodas, the Psar Leu market, an Angkor-era temple, a traditional Khmer boxing class, the “beach” at Cambo Beach, and Phare Circus (a traditional Cambodian circus show). The students also visited Chreav Village and Bakong Village outside of Siem Reap. It was a great opportunity to rediscover the beauty of their city!
During the workshops, the students were split in two levels: beginners, who were new to photography, and advanced, who had participated in the photography workshops before. Every child could learn and make progress at their own pace.
Our young photographers-in-training honed their skills under the supervision of seven professional photographers: Dennese, Sopheak, Lux, Andrea, Sophal, Roun and Ron. The children improved their photographic skills every day. Before the workshop started each day, the students met in small groups between 5 and 10 students to look at their pictures from the day before. The photographers gave each student advice on their technique and how to improve for the upcoming day, like how to focus on the light or point of view in the picture.
In recognition of the children’s skill and creativity, we celebrated Children’s Day on December 5. Eighty children attended games and enjoyed a meal together to celebrate the end of the workshop. Some children performed a few songs – part of our new Anjali band! After these festivities, there was a public screening of the children’s photographs from the workshops. Every child received a copy of their best photographs to reward their effort and make them feel confident in their abilities.
The Anjali Photo Workshops is an essential part of our program. Beyond our historical partnership with the Angkor Photo Festival, the workshops enable our children to develop skills such as patience, determination, creativity and imagination. We believe that each child deserves access to arts, education and creative expression. Thank you to our students for sharing their views of their city – and thank you to the Angkor Photo Festival for your partnership!