Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Campaign started to save puppet theatre



Campaign started to save puppet theatre

A fundraising campaign has been launched to support master shadow puppet maker Mann Kosal and ensure the future of the Sovanna Phum Association.
A fundraising campaign has been launched to support master shadow puppet maker Mann Kosal and ensure the future of the Sovanna Phum Association. Athena Zelandonii

Campaign started to save puppet theatre

A fundraising campaign has been launched to ensure the short-term future of a long-standing Phnom Penh sbek thom (shadow puppet) theatre.

In May, the head of the Sovanna Phum Association Mann Kosal decided he could not continue without proper funding and decided to leave Phnom Penh to become a tuk-tuk driver.

But at the eleventh hour a pair of young artists pledged to raise between $12,000 to $30,000 to support his work as one of the few remaining practitioners of the art.

Last week, sisters Rithy Lomorpich and Rithy Lomorkesor, who began volunteering with Sovanna Phum in 2012, launched the #5KRiels campaign on Indiegogo, asking donors to stump up about $1.25 each and will run for three months.

“The idea is that 5,000 riel is not much money from each pocket,” said Lomorpich. “[But if many people] would donate only $1.25 on our donation website or into our piggy box, the #5KRiels campaign would have success to support sbek thom artists.”

The fundraising website also had options for people to donate more than $5 with rewards including personalised thank-you messages on photographs, T-shirts and carved leather puppets.

“Sometimes we think that little money could not change anything, but we believe little money could create a better life for Cambodian artists, especially lakhon sbek thom performance art,” Lomorpich said.

“However, if Cambodian people do not support their own heritage, it would be a huge shame to lose a Khmer art association which has run for a long time.”

Lomorpich said the sisters also planned to organise fundraising performances and put donation boxes in cafes, shops and restaurants.

For more details and to donate, visit the Indiegogo campaign.

MOST VIEWED

  • Prince Norodom Ranariddh passes away at 77

    Prince Norodom Ranariddh, the second son of the late King Father Norodom Sihanouk and former First Prime Minister of Cambodia, has passed away in France at the age of 77. “Samdech Krom Preah Norodom Ranariddh has passed away this morning in France just after 9am Paris-time,”

  • Cambodia purchases 4 million Molnupiravir tablets

    Cambodia has arranged for the purchase of four million US-made Molnupiravir pills – enough to treat 100,000 Covid-19 patients – even though the current rate of daily infections in Cambodia remains low. The medicine will be distributed to state hospitals, pharmacies and private clinics, according to the Samdech

  • Rise in planned flights lifts travel hopes

    Six airlines have applied to resume flights in December, while two others have put in for additional flights and routes, according to State Secretariat of Civil Aviation (SSCA) head Mao Havannall on November 29. These account for 43 new weekly domestic and international flights in December, up 16

  • Is Cambodia’s travel sector in for another cheerless holiday season?

    The travel and tourism sector was heaving back to life as borders started to reopen, promising a festive vibe for the holidays and New Year. But Omicron and other Covid-related issues are threatening to close the year on a bleak note ‘Seems [like] Covid-19 won’

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration

  • Cambodia planning new border checkpoint at Thma Da

    Cambodia is looking into the possibility of opening a new Thma Da Border Checkpoint with Thailand to boost trade and tourism. The Ministry of Public Works and Transport said on December 4 that Minister of Public Works and Transport Sun Chanthol led a technical working group