An Art show shining a spotlight on women in Cambodia featuring short but powerful videos was recently exhibited at the FT Gallery in the Factory Phnom Penh as part of the launch of Generation C’s “I’ll Show You Who I Am campaign”.
Generation C’s campaign for women’s rights in Cambodia is part of the project “Voices for Gender Equality” sponsored by the EU and DanChurchAid (DCA), an NGO founded by the Danish national Lutheran church.
Phnom Penh Post writes that the featured video showing a woman removing layer after layer of traditional Khmer fabrics until she finally reveals her true identity wearing a modern outfit and makeup, is meant to highlight the pressures that women face from the traditional culture in Cambodia to point to opportunities to overcome them.
Explaining the video, French-Cambodian artist and co-founder and president of Generation C Cambodia, Adana Mam-Legros says, “This video demonstrates the power of artistic activism. A simple gesture accompanied by a radical message. Women have been suffocating under the pressure of tradition since the dawn of time. Adapting to the modern age by keeping knowledge of our roots is necessary to move forward as a nation and as a civilization.”
“After receiving a grant from DCA to launch a women’s rights campaign we were looking to incorporate art to make a powerful and provocative statement. We were inspired by the Letty Cottin Pogrebin quote ‘when men are oppressed it’s a tragedy, when women are oppressed its tradition,” Adana Mam-Legros explains.
Founded in 2020, the non-profit organization Generation C is a socially driven artistic movement striving for an empathic civilization promoting emotional intelligence, ethics, and social responsibilities. It has the objective to initiate a shift from consumers to aware citizens. Using the power of artistic activism, this movement combines the power of emotion through art and the strategic planning of activism to bring about behavior change as well as awareness-raising.
“This exhibition is to showcase the women’s rights campaign but it is also meant to reveal the talents of female artists in Cambodia. We are using this opportunity to shine a spotlight on Phailin Cadiot and Ma R. Daneth – two self-taught artists who never got the chance to have their own show. Neither of them ever went to art school but their passion for art shines brightly in their work,” says Adana Mam-Legros.