Deakin University

File(s) under permanent embargo

Participatory media in Cambodia: An exploration of relational film, documentary and art

posted on 2012-01-01, 00:00 authored by Martin PotterMartin Potter
With a long history of violent repression of media and independent, creative self-expression Cambodia has struggled to re-capture the extraordinary cultural capital that blossomed in the 1960s before war, the Khmer Rouge and more than 20 years of political instability destroyed the vibrancy of both traditional and contemporary Cambodian art and culture. Access to and interest in all aspects of media and screen culture is expanding rapidly, but is hampered by a lack of opportunities that encourage participation and cultural and governmental censorship. My residency sought to build on more two and a half years work in using media and art for development in the Cambodian context. I had moved to Cambodia in 2009 and returned to Australia in mid 2011. During that time I worked across a variety of participatory media projects for UN agencies, international NGOs and produced digital media projects with the support of media institutions including National Film Board of Canada, EU Media and Screen Australia. Much of my work focused on working with emerging filmmakers and artists -young people under 30 who are expanding conservative views of Cambodian culture and history and seeking to define their identities beyond the tragedies of the past 40 years. The majority of this work was concerned with exploring new platforms for creative expression with the use of online a focus. In addition a focus was on building or supporting collective, creative endeavours and structures.


Alternative title

Participatory media in Cambodia: An exploration of relational film, documentary and art





Commissioning body


With the financial support of Asialink in 2012 and additional support from the Ian Potter Cultural Trust and the International Documentary Festival Amsterdam (IDFA) fund, and in-kind support from the Bophana Centre in Phnom Penh I was able to return to Cambodia to work with independent Khmer artists and filmmakers who are pushing the boundaries of creative self expression and exploring new forms of articulating their culture for Cambodian and international audiences.

Publication classification

A5.1 Minor research monograph



Place of publication


Usage metrics

    Research Publications


    Ref. manager