Published on November 20th, 2022 | by Tim Chuma
Photography in Cambodia (2022) Review
Summary: Well worth looking into if you are into historical photography and also want to learn more about Cambodia apart from the well known history.
1866 to the Present
By: Nicholas Coffill
Somewhat based on the author’s performance SNAP! 150 Years of Photography in Cambodia held in Siem Reap this book is a history of photography in Cambodia which has a whole lot of history it turns out apart from the Pol Pot era.
It had the original adventurer photographer hipsters who travelled to Cambodia when it was not quite a colony of France but at least under some control of it. I did not know someone actually stole one of the heads from Anghor Wat and posed with it.
There was a big boom of people appreciating Asian cultures in France in the late 19th century which led to more people travelling to the country and the government revitalising the ruins as a tourist attraction.
While a lot of the older photos seem to be from rich people coming in from overseas, actual Cambodians did eventually taking photos and it seemed to be for a lot of special occasions and there were expats living in the country who took lots of photos.
There are essays in each section for each era that the book covers which you can always come back to later after enjoying the photos.
I did enjoy that there was quite a variety of photos shown in the book and not just what you would expect for a book like this. They do go into Pol Pot and the period of upheaval and war some there are some advisories on that section. Photography was used to catalogue all the people who were interrogated and killed during the regime at certain prisons.
I am a photographer and would recommend this to anyone with an interest in photography or South East Asian culture. Well worth your time and not really that expensive in comparison to some photography and art books for the amount of photos you get in it.
Number Of Pages: 256
Illustrations: over 380 b&w and 112 color photos by 105 Cambodian and international photographers
Published: 1st June 2022
Publisher: Berkeley Books
Country of Publication: US
Dimensions (cm): 30.4 x 22.8 x 2.54
Weight (kg): 1.56