On Khmer Puppetry and Other Acts of Care

April 9, 2024 – April 9, 2024
6:00 pm – 8:30 pm
York College, City University of New York | 2D01 Faculty Dining Room 94 - 20 Guy R. Brewer Blvd, Jamaica, Queens

Still from Alive Skin, dir. Veasna Oem and Vantha Rat, 2022.

Still from Alive Skin, dir. Veasna Oem and Vantha Rat, 2022.

Join us for a screening of four short films by Indigenous Cambodian filmmakers on healing, memory and care in stories about puppetry, weaving, human-animal relations and family caregiving! Bring your own refreshments! The screening will be introduced at 6pm by the Bophana Center who join us virtually. It concludes between 7:15pm and 7:30pm after which there will be a virtual discussion with the filmmakers. Audience at York can participate in the Q&A via zoom.

Alive Skin (dir. Veasna Oem, Vantha Rat, 2022, 12 min, Khmer with English subtitles). Heng An is an artist who makes puppets for Khmer shadow plays. He wants to preserve this endangered art form and share his craftmanship with younger generations. In the film, he explains how he makes leather puppets, how to use them to perform shadow plays, and why he creates this art.

Trung (dir. Khamnhei Hea, 2022, 17 min, Karvet with English subtitles). Noum is the name of a traditional fishing trap used during the rainy season by the Karvet Indigenous People since ancient times. Ban Pas, who lives with his family on a cashew plantation, has been making this trap since he was a child.  “In the future, I want to teach my children how to weave,” he says.

The Bophana Center for Audiovisual Resources, founded in 2006 by Rithy Panh and Ieu Pannakar, is a unique repository of films, photographs, musical recordings and archival documents that bear witness to Cambodia’s history and people. The Center also provides opportunities for new forms of creativity through a training program for young Cambodians seeking careers in filmmaking, broadcasting and journalism.

The screening at CUNY York is organized by the CUNY York Art History program through the SUNY/CUNY Southeast Asia Consortium (SEAC) with Graduate Education and Training in Southeast Asia (GETSEA) and the Bophana Institute in conjunction with the International Decade of Indigenous Languages.