1 / 4       © E.F.E.O.
2 / 4       © E.F.E.O.
3 / 4       During the visit to the exhibition A Journey into 20th Century Cambodia through EFEO Photographic Archives by École Française d’Extrême-Orient (E.F.E.O). © Stefania Biamonti/FPmag.
4 / 4       During the visit to the exhibition A Journey into 20th Century Cambodia through EFEO Photographic Archives by École Française d’Extrême-Orient (E.F.E.O). © Stefania Biamonti/FPmag.

A plunge into the past

It was 1907 when the École Française d'Extrême-Orient (E.F.E.O.) decided to send its best students to Cambodia. The aim of the mission – in line with the objective of the Institute, re-founded in 1900 in Saigon on the remains of the French Mission archéologique d’Indochine – was to study, document and preserve the beauty of the amazing archaeological site of Angkor, now protected by the UNESCO World Heritage Site. The numerous architects, anthropologists, archaeologists and epigraphists involved thus began a thorough archaeological exploration, which lasted almost seventy years, and that allowed the E.F.E.O. to put together an extraordinary documentation of what is now considered the most important archaeological site in Cambodia and one of the most important and renowned in South-East Asia. But not only. Those young professionals proved also passionate witnesses of more than a quarter of a century of Cambodian history. Their images not only show statues, temples and the hard work of restoration of the city that, for a long time, was the religious and political centre of the Khmer Empire, but also views, bucolic landscapes and scenes of everyday life in the countryside, in the city and courtyards. The mountains of photographs and the piles of documents and notes produced were later reorganised into archives that, in view of the eleventh edition of the Angkor Photo Festival & Workshops, curator and programme coordinator Françoise Callier reopened, studied and analysed carefully.
The result is the exhibition A Journey into 20th Century Cambodia through EFEO Photographic Archives, on display until 5th January 2016 at the headquarters of the E.F.E.O. in Siem Reap. A path that allows, thanks to the meticulous research of Callier, to enjoy a wide selection of photographs taken over that one long expedition. Images that allow you to observe what no longer exists, what has not survived in time or history, giving visitors a unique opportunity: a journey back in time, between the imprints of memory. A real journey of discovery in the presence of the glorious past of an incredible civilisation, extremely complex and refined, of which many, especially in the West, know little or nothing. [ S. B. ]

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A JOURNEY INTO 20TH CENTURY CAMBODIA THROUGH EFEO PHOTOGRAPHIC ARCHIVES
by École Française d’Extrême-Orient (E.F.E.O)
E.F.E.O | December, 5th 2015 - January, 5th 2016
admission fee: free

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[ INTERNAL RESOUCES ]
Angkor Photo Festival & Workshops on FPmag
Exhibitions and screenings

[ video ] A yearlong search: interview with Françoise Callier
[ video ] Interview with Jean-Yves Navel

[ EXTERNAL RESOURCES ]
E.F.E.O.
Angkor Photo Festival & Workshops

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published on 2015-12-17 in NEWS / EXHIBITIONS

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