A few months ago, I received an assignment to photograph a circus school in Battabang, Cambodia for Fah Thai Magazine. I was accompanied by my friend, and semi-famed writer, Duncan Forgan. The piece was recently published, so I’m now able to share a few of the images. The place was Phare Ponleu Selpak, which translates as “the brightness of art”, a French and Khmer foundation which promotes better lives through the arts. Their most well-known program is the circus and performing arts school. What we found there were many children and young adults given an inspiration to work hard and skills to achieve success, despite their difficult upbringings. Given the facilities they have to train in, basically what you see below, when the time came for the performance, I’m sure the didn’t disappoint anyone in the sold out audience. Anyway It’s probably more entertaining to read Duncan’s words online here. Below are the tearsheets and a few other frames I captured over a few days with them.
A few more frames that were mostly unpublished, first from the performance, then from the training school.
The training grounds were essentially two large warehouse-type buildings with some fairy worn gymnastic equipment strewn about. However, even despite their lack of olympic facilities, they are able to accomplish some pretty amazing things. A lot of younger children practice juggling, jumping and flipping, while most of the older crowd rehearse their stunts for the upcoming show.