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Tackling the emotional silence of the past

August 2023

At factory Phnom Penh on August 20, a groundbreaking workshop titled “The Path to Mental Illness Relief” took a bold step towards addressing Cambodia’s deeply rooted psychological wounds. 

This workshop, which ran from 9am to 5:30pm, paved the way for a more open dialogue about mental health and emotional wellness among Cambodians.

Spearheading the initiative was Cambodian artist and activist Adana Mam-Legros, drawing from her own personal journey to inspire others.

“Workshops like these offer foundational knowledge about mental health, and the chance to seek help and healing,” said Mam-Legros, an artist known for blending philanthropy with art. 

“The goal is to inspire the public to seek out psychologists when needed, and to reach out when they feel overwhelmed,” she said.

The shadows of Cambodia’s tumultuous past linger on, having deeply affected the nation’s psyche. 

 

Often, cultural and societal pressures suppress conversations about emotional health. Compounding this is the limited mental health infrastructure, especially in more remote areas. 

Adana emphasised the value of professional support, recalling her personal battle: “I experienced psychological challenges during my cancer journey, highlighting the crucial role of professionals in understanding and managing mental issues.”

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Exposition franco-allemande aux Dominicains

28 mai 2023

Du 31 mai au 11 juin, à l’espace des Dominicains, l’association a(r)ty*pic, en collaboration avec Christel Schirmer, présidente de l’association Éphémères, arts & cultures, qui endosse ici le rôle de commissaire d’exposition, propose une exposition qui fera cheminer le public à travers des univers sonores, numériques, visuels et céramiques.

Neuf artistes, français et allemands d’envergure internationale ont formé un collectif pour mettre en lumière leur créativité en partant à la recherche de leurs racines : Andrea Uecker, Christ Mattia, Christian Appel (avec Walter Emmerich), Christina Weising, Adana Mam Legros, Ariane Coissieux, Karin Hoerler. Le Kunstverein de la ville de Gauting près de Munich se présentera via une vidéo réalisée par Jane Christiana Höchstetter.

Animations et performances

Le vernissage aura lieu vendredi 2 juin à 18 h en présence de tous les artistes, accompagnés du grand chœur et orchestre Vagabondages, sous la direction d’Olivier Pauwels.

Plusieurs manifestations auront lieu durant l’exposition : dimanche 3 juin, Andrea Uecker, Christina Weising et Adana Mam Legros proposent une œuvre collaborative avec le public produisant en temps réel une œuvre d’art unique : un arbre sous forme d’un collage spatio-dynamique. Samedi 10 juin à 18 h 30, Myriem Bouhelal-Schirmer promènera le public avec douceur et sensibilité dans un univers où la musique et le chant n’ont pas de frontière et où nos racines s’entremêlent.

Dimanche 11 juin à 16 h, Ariane Coissieux et Hervé Le Jacq offriront des contes céramiques et chants du monde avant d’éveiller tous nos sens à travers "Le thé sans cérémonie".

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Adana décrit sa propre vie, depuis sa jeunesse solitaire jusqu’à sa transformation en activiste rebelle au système, par le biais de la danse et du cinéma.

« Je raconte ma propre histoire à travers un mélange de spectacles de danse, de la danse traditionnelle khmère aux styles contemporains et aux mouvements Bokator », dit-elle.

Sa dernière œuvre, Dead End ? est un court métrage qui met en valeur son talent artistique et sa passion pour l’exploration de questions sociales importantes. Le film, qui sera projeté simultanément le 29 avril au Parisien de Phnom Penh et au Gazette Café de Montpellier, en France, est une œuvre d’art très attendue qui met en scène les célèbres danseuses Silver Belle et Sok Vitou, ainsi que Kaliane Tea et Ning Mam.

L’œuvre commence par un discours d’Adana sur des danseurs traditionnels khmers.

Ce qui rend Dead End ? Vraiment unique, c’est le message qu’il véhicule. Adana a profité du film pour dévoiler les raisons de la création de son mouvement, Generation C International.

« C’est moi, vulnérable comme un artiste doit l’être, qui dévoile ma rumination psychologique, ma dissonance existentielle et mon désarroi d’être multiculturelle. Ma lignée est tachée par les traumatismes de ma mère et de ses parents », explique-t-elle.

« Les conséquences du génocide ont laissé notre pays à la dérive, sans direction, dans un fleuve sans fin. J’ai besoin de souligner l’atrocité des guerres et des déviances humaines pour refléter notre chaos intérieur », ajoute-t-elle.

Les expériences personnelles d’Adana et l’histoire de sa famille ont nourri son art, et elle utilise son talent pour mettre en lumière d’importantes questions sociales. Elle estime que l’essor et la chute de la civilisation d’Angkor devraient rappeler l’effondrement de tous les systèmes et servir d’avertissement pour que les gens se réveillent.

« Cultivons l’art de vivre ensemble dans la convivialité. Rêvons et construisons un avenir éthique et responsable », affirme-t-elle.

''Je me déclare consciente, et de l’importance de mon rôle et de mon engagement décisif et

Art has always been a powerful medium for expressing emotions and ideas that are sometimes difficult to put into words.

Artist Adana Mam-Legros, president and founder of social movement Generation C International, has used her art to explore the complexities of her identity and the trauma that her family and country have endured.

 

She describes her own life, from her lonely youth to becoming an activist rebelling against the system, through the mediums of dance and film.

“I’m telling my own story through a mix of dance performances, from traditional Khmer dance to contemporary styles and Bokator movements,” Adana told The Post.

 

Her latest work, Dead End?, is a short film that showcases her artistic talent and her passion for exploring important social issues.

“Today, our world is sliding into a totally dystopian society. One of the solutions should be cultivating the ‘Art of Better Living Together’. Our ongoing crisis is an alarm going off for humanity telling us that it’s time to wake up. We have to stop dreaming and start building a new future that is ethical and responsible,” Adana tells The Post.

Dead End?, which will be simultaneously shown on April 29 at The Parisien in Phnom Penh and at the Gazette Café, in Montpellier, France, is a highly anticipated work of art that features well-known dancers Silver Belle and Sok Vitou, as well as Kaliane Tea and Ning Mam.

The piece begins with Adana speaking over traditional Khmer dancers.

“I spent most of my life in Cambodia, a mysterious Kingdom with a long and complicated history. It was once the most flourishing and sacred nation in the world, with abundant resources and a rich culture, both symbolised by the remains of a grandiose civilization and its thousand temples,” she says.

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Throughout the course of the pandemic, artist and activist Adana Mam-Legros and her organisation Generation C – which she is president and co-founder of – have been actively uplifting people and issuing a wakeup call to society by talking about the things that really matter in the world from complementarity to compassion, consciousness, empathy, the art of sharing, mental health, empowering women and more.

Adana will be leaving Cambodia for Europe at the beginning of 2022, but she’s doing one last exhibition before she goes called ConvivArt that highlights the philosophy of convivialism and the “art of better living together”.

“Today, our world is sliding into a totally dystopian society. One of the solutions should be cultivating the ‘Art of Better Living Together’. Our ongoing crisis is an alarm going off for humanity telling us that it’s time to wake up. We have to stop dreaming and start building a new future that is ethical and responsible,” Adana tells The Post.

“Convivialism is a philosophy, a way of living, addressing all human beings without any particular specification or orientation. This message is international and can be understood by all cultures and people. The objective of this event is to encourage youths to be ‘convivial citizens’ who are both introspective and united together socially,” Adana says

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The video shows a woman covered from head to toe in traditional Khmer fabrics removes layer upon layer of cloth, finally unveiling her true identity wearing modern clothing and make-up, with a soundtrack that reflects the boundaries between the two worlds that is a mixture of both modern and traditional sounds.

“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 civilisation,”

French-Cambodian artist Adana Mam-Legros explains to The Post. 

 

The short but powerful video was made as part of the I’ll Show You

Who I Am campaign, with an exhibition held September 17-19 at FT Gallery in the Factory Phnom Penh. 

The video is meant to highlight the pressures that women face from traditional culture in Cambodia in order to point to opportunities to overcome them and was created to launch Generation C’s campaign for women’s rights in Cambodia. 

 

The campaign is part of the project “Voices for Gender Equality” sponsored by the EU and DanChurchAid or Danish Church Aid (DCA), an NGO founded by the Danish national Lutheran church. 

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Art of Sharing painting exhibition true to its name, raising $60k for local NGOs

05 May 2021

In these difficult times where the importance of caring, showing kindness and sharing matters more than ever, artists Chea Serey and Adana Mam-Legros felt the need to demonstrate the principles of hope and solidarity to people by integrating their art into an act of sharing by holding an exhibition and art auction aimed at raising funds for local NGOs that are working on social and psychological issues.

The initial idea for the The Art of Sharing exhibition came about in early 2020 when the pandemic was just beginning. Adana says that a lot of time was spent working on the paintings – especially on the four special collaborative paintings – as well as the 18 individual art works that went into the exhibition. 

 

After many weeks of work, in January 2021 the 22 paintings were hung in Sosoro museum and the exhibition was officially opened to the public.

After sharing her experience with our students during a conference, the French-Khmer artist and activist Adana Mam-Legros made a precious donation to Chandara Students' Homes by selling a piece of art during her "I'll show you who I am" exhibition. Orkun chran!Homes the entire funds from the sale of a piece of art from the last exhibition she curated. It is within the walls of the FT Gallery located in the Factory Phnom Penh, a high place of creation and innovation, that the artist was able to spread her ideas, expose her works and raise funds for 3 local NGOs including ours, Raksa Koma Foundation (RKF) and Samakithoar, from September 17th to 19th 2021.

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After sharing her experience with our students during a conference, the French-Khmer artist and activist Adana Mam-Legros made a precious donation to Chandara Students' Homes by selling a piece of art during her "I'll show you who I am" exhibition. Orkun chran!

"Art is not an end in itself, but a means to share my messages", confides Adana Mam-Legros, activist who uses art as a medium to empower individuals and communities. We are grateful to her for supporting our students, by donating to Chandara Students' 

Homes the entire funds from the sale of a piece of art from the last exhibition she curated. It is within the walls of the FT Gallery located in the Factory Phnom Penh, a high place of creation and innovation, that the artist was able to spread her ideas, expose her works and raise funds for 3 local NGOs including ours, Raksa Koma Foundation (RKF) and Samakithoar, from September 17th to 19th 2021.

Her mixed-media exhibition "I'll show you who I am" was indeed a way to highlight the invisible pressure women face in their daily life, but also to create a powerful campaign to advocate women's rights in collaboration with the local creative studio Gisel. Together, they reinterpreted the quote "When men are oppressed it’s a tragedy, when women are oppressed it’s tradition” by staging in a series of videos three iconic Khmer women: Lomorkesor "Kesorrr" Rithy, Chumvan "Belle" Sodhachivy and Sam Tharoth, respectively singer, traditionnal dancer and martial art fighter. 

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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.

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Three non-governmental organisations in Cambodia dealing with social and psychological issues have received $20,000 each from the “Art of Sharing” exhibition by two prominent Cambodian women artists, Chea Serey, who is also the director general of the National Bank of Cambodia and Adana Mam-Legros.

The three beneficiary organisations chosen were HelpAge Cambodia, TPO Cambodia and Improving Cambodia’s Society through Skillful Parenting (ICS-IP), which all benefited from the exhibition last January conducted at Sosoro Museum.

Serey said they were overwhelmed with the support received for the art exhibition resulting in its success.

“We initiated this exhibition for the benefit of society and to inspire a sense of solidarity. I can say that we have achieved the goal of both to raise funds for the chosen organisations and share a positive message about the continuity of hope and solidarity in this difficult time,” she said.

According to her, the organisations will continue to receive funds until 2023 from the upcoming activities they are planning to do.

Serey thanked all of those who came to visit the exhibition, either directly or on social media, especially those who bought paintings or souvenirs or donated money showing support for the activity.

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Three generations of five strong women have come together to celebrate International Women’s Day through a week-long series of digital-based campaigns to promote women’s rights amid the COVID-19 outbreak in the Kingdom.
 

Adana Mam-Legros, Kaliane Tea, Lomorpich Rithy, Laura Mam, and Nary Ung started their digital campaign on Monday and it is scheduled to go on until March 15.

The campaign includes a music video and profile series for the song ’‘Just like you’’ released by Baramey Production Company, featuring inspiring stories of women from three different generations and a series of coffee talks driven by Generation C Cambodia and Women in the City.

Mam is a singer-songwriter of original music in Khmer merged into Western styles of music while Rithy (Yoki) is a former producer/director at the BBC Media Action and the founder of PlerngKob (“Campfire” in English), a dynamic young group of individuals passionate about the arts and film.

Legros, a French-Cambodian artist, activist and co-founder and resident of Generation C Cambodia, said with the year hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is a need for global resiliency and to stand-up for solidarity.

“This difficult time has forged a new world for us to live in together with complementarity. Celebrating International Women’s Day is for women and men to take on responsibilities together in our community. Reaffirming that we belong to a single humanity,” she said.

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Born into a family of political activists, including her mother the famed women’s rights activist Somaly Mam, French-Cambodian artist Adana Mam Legros has carried on her family’s traditions by linking her art exhibitions with her political activism. 

Mam Legros has continued her Generation C Cambodia cultural movement through her art, from her Complementarity exhibition at Rosewood Phnom Penh last October to her capsule exhibition Origins & Becoming at The Lounge at Plantation Urban Resort & Spa which opened earlier this month and runs until April 6.

According to the 24-year-old artist, Generation C Cambodia is a socially driven artistic movement encouraging new ways of thinking while placing a greater emphasis on collaboration, compassion and social responsibility. Based on the French “convivialist” movement, it promotes solidarity with others and social change. 

“Generation C Cambodia uses art to convey psycho-social messages. Every event I’ve organised has a purpose and topics related to psychology, society, the environment and art. Since the Complementarity exhibition at Rosewood, I’ve been launching art events, conferences, and charity events,” Mam Legros tells The Post.

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Anatta & Danceflix: the aesthetic of dance and life

19 January 2021

Anatta highlights important values such as solidarity, compassion, respect and responsibility inspired by past philosophies, namely Buddhist teachings and humanism.

During her speech in the middle of the show, Legros said: “I have a dream that we as the human species will be able to act positively on our destiny and understand our responsibility towards the world. I am not the only one with this dream. I am sure thousands and millions also do, but it is now that we have to understand to act and to adapt as part of the young generation to be part of this transformation, to redefine our mindset and build a new and strong foundation for the world – one that integrates new sets of values. And this is the reason why I created the Generation C movement.”

“This grand opening dance recital together with Generation C is very special. First of all, by incorporating with Generation C, we are arousing public awareness of aesthetics, education of arts and to focus on themes such as nature and human beings. Plus, the kids have a chance to show to their parents and to the public what they have learned with us,” said Zheng.

Legros is a French and Cambodian international artist, who has always had a passion for drawing, but only truly discovered her artistic passion when she had to battle against early onset cancer. Spending her childhood in Phnom Penh with survivors of sexual exploitation, she was driven to change the world with her social work and fundraising events.

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Phnom Penh & Exposition : « The Art of Sharing », solidarité et émotion au Musée Sosoro

19 January 2021

« The Art of Sharing – L’Art du Partage » est une exposition de peinture née de la collaboration entre S.E. Serey Chea et Adana Mam Legros avec pour ambition de mettre en avant les valeurs de partage et de compassion si nécessaires en ces temps difficiles.

Découverte et émotion

L’exposition sera ouverte au public le mardi 12 janvier 2021, une formidable occasion de (re) découvrir le Musée Preah Srey Içanavarman — Musée Sosoro — វរ្ម័ន ព្រះ ស្រី ឦសានវរ្ម័ន. Pour Blaise Kilian, co-directeur du musée, cette exposition permettra au public de découvrir ces deux artistes, mais aussi de mettre en avant cette partie ludique du musée que constitue l’ensemble jardin et salle d’exposition temporaire.

« Une société qui ne valorise pas ses personnes âgées nie ses racines et met en danger son avenir. » - Nelson Mandela.

Dans cet esprit de partage, un tiers des fonds levés par l’exposition ira à HelpAge Cambodia pour aider les personnes âgées, en particulier celles qui luttent contre la pauvreté. Pour en savoir plus sur la façon dont il est possible d’aider les personnes âgées les plus vulnérables en ces temps difficiles, visitez : http://www.helpagecambodia.org/

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"Art of Sharing" Charity Exhibition for NGO

19 sept 2021

(ភ្នំពេញ)៖ ពិព័រណ៍គំនូរ «សិល្បៈនៃការចែករំលែក» ត្រូវបានរៀបចំឡើងដោយសារមន្ទីរសេដ្ឋកិច្ច និងរូបិយវត្ថុ ព្រះស្រីឦសានវរ្ម័ន និងក្រោមគំនិតផ្ដួចផ្ដើមរបស់ លោកស្រី ជា សិរី ឧបការីទេសាភិបាល នៃធនាគារជាតិនៃកម្ពុជា និងជាវិចិត្រការិនីមួយរូប ដែលត្រូវបានរៀបចំឡើង ដើម្បីរៃអង្គាសថវិកាជួយដល់អង្គការចំនួន៣នៅកម្ពុជា ដែលធ្វើការលើបញ្ហាសង្គម និងសុខភាពផ្លូវចិត្ត។

ពិព័រណ៍គំនូរ «សិល្បៈនៃការចែករំលែក» នេះត្រូវបានរៀបចំជាលើកទី១ នៅថ្ងៃទី១០ ខែមករា ឆ្នាំ២០២១ និងអនុញ្ញាតឲ្យសាធារណជន ចូលទស្សនាដោយផ្ទាល់ និងឥតគិតថ្លៃ។ នេះក៏ជាលើកទី១ផងដែរ ដែលការតាំងពិព័រណ៍នៅកម្ពុជា ត្រូវបានរៀបចំជាការតាំងពិព័រណ៍ឌីជីថល 3D ដែលសាធារណជនអាចចូលមើលបាន តាមរយៈប្រព័ន្ធអ៊ីធើណេតដោយសេរី និងគ្រប់ទីកន្លែង។

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