Phnom Penh/Cambodia is the next place after Yangon/Myanmar where the Sylt Foundation enables authors and artists from different countries to discuss matters of transformation and identity.

The workshops will take place from 5. - 12. August 2017
Curators: Irene S. Leung (USA/Cambodia) and Indra Wussow (Germany/South Africa)
International participants: Di Lu Galay (Myanmar), Jesús Sepúlveda (Chile), Matthias Politycki (Germany), Sascha Reh (Germany)
The artworks by Tuomo Manninen (Finnland) and Kai Lossgott (South Africa)

7th August, 5 p.m.: Sensing change and transformation. Discussion and workshop
8th August, 5 p.m.: translating workshop, Meta House
9th August, 6 p.m.: screening of "Combodian Son" at Flicks communal cinema, followed by a performance with Kozal Khiev
10th August, 7.p.m.: reading at the Meta House / Goethe Institut Phnom Penh; curated by Phina So and Choun Sopheap
11th August, 5 p.m.: workshop with artists from Sa Sa Art Projects at Sa Sa Art; curated by Lyno Vuth
location: #47, St 350 (off St 95), P.O. Box 665, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
12th August, 5 p.m.: Sensing change and transformation. Final discussion and workshop

German author Matthias Politycki is granted a residency for the whole of August to travel, meet artists and discuss matters of transformation and identity. Many thanks to the Deutscher Literaturfonds for its financial support to make this happen.

Reading at the Meta House / Goethe Institut Phnom Penh, 10th August 2017, 7 p.m.
with Choun Sopheap (Cambodia), Di Lu Galay (Myanmar), Kim Dyna (Cambodia), Loch Chantha (Cambodia), Oum Suphany (Cambodia), Sascha Reh (Germany), Jesús Sepúlveda (Chile). Presenters: Indra Wussow (Germany/South Africa) and Phina So (Cambodia)

In times of political turmoil and worrisome worldwide relapses into old thought patterns the writer becomes an important seismograph in analysing social change and development, to encourage new ideas and hint at the deeper layers of our societies.
Wars affect communities and families; they influence lives and societies even for the generations to come. Refugees and emigrants have become a global phenomenon and have challenged our perception of identity patterns, the ideas of home and Diaspora. Economic marginalization and the often devastating effects of neoliberalism are important issues of today. How does literature respond to these challenges and how do these world affairs affect the individual, families and their structures, social groups in different cities, regions, countries and in a global context? 

Goethe Institut Phnom Penh:
META HOUSE Phnom Penh / German Cambodian Cultural Center

Participating artists and curators of the Phnom Penh workshops:


Sascha Reh, Trauma and no reconciliation. Youk Chhang and Khosal Khiev: a double portrait from Cambodia (in German). Read more



Fabienne Moore, Associate Professor of French at the University of Oregon, joined our workshops and accompanied Jesús Sepúlveda on his trip to Cambodia. You can read her story about the translation workshop and the multilingual poetry reading at Meta House, the discussion with spoken word artist Kosal Khiev and the encounter with Youk Chhang, founder and director of the Documantation Center of Cambodia (DC Cam) on the University of Oregon website here.

" ... Another unforgettable encounter took place with Youk Chhang, founder and director of the Documentation Center of Cambodia (or DC-Cam). Himself a survivor, a refugee in the USA, and now a philanthropist and human rights advocate, he has a mission to document and educate about Khmer Rouges atrocities, bring justice to the victims, and heal with the curative powers of art and beauty. In addition to his archival research, Mr. Chhang commissioned late Lebanese celebrated architect Dame Zaha Hadid to design an exceptional building named the Sleuk Rith Institute that will serve as an archive, a museum, and a graduate research center for trauma studies in the heart of the Cambodian capital. ..."
read the whole story

  • Director of DC-Cam Youk Chhang with Indra Wussow, Jesús Sepúlveda & Sascha Reh

    © Fabienne Moore

  • Translation Workshop at Meta House
    © Fabienne Moore

  • Jesús Sepúlveda,  Kosal Khiev, Indra Wussow, Di Lu Galay, Chantha
    © Fabienne Moore

The artworks by Tuomo Manninen (Finnland) and Kai Lossgott (South Africa):

We are happy to have finnish photographer Tuomo Manninen  amongst the artists of our Transformation and Identity programme. Some of his works were shown during the opening workshop in Yangon/Myanmar in April 2017. Please click here to see his series group portraits Phnom Penh 2015.

Tuomo Manninen
Survivors, Ive Family, Phnom Penh 2015

Sylt Foundation Fellow Kai Lossgott (South Africa) spent two months in Phnom Penh in Cambodia on a residency in the White Building as part of the collaboration of the Sa Sa Arts Projects and the Sylt Foundation.


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