Arts and culture have a unique ability to promote tolerance, diversity and social cohesion. Meta House gives a special focus to social-related and charity art projects, tackling important issues such as women empowerment, LGBTIQ inclusion, substance abuse or the reconciliation process after the Pol Pot genocide. At the center, we provide space for meaningful public events, workshops and presentations. To extend our reach, we also conceptualize and implement various projects in schools, universities and community centers nation-wide. By using groundbreaking methods such as interactive theatre, intergenerational dialogues or schoolyard exhibitions, Meta House projects are able to transcend age, location, and economic boundaries.
ART FOR POSITIVE CHANGE
Cambodia’s rich artistic culture was destroyed in the 1970s by the Khmer Rouge. 90 percent of artists either left Cambodia or died. Today, a revival is taking place – and it is gaining international recognition. In modern Cambodia, the arts play an important role in helping Cambodians reclaim their heritage and to heal their souls. The growth of expressive art forms is crucial to the development of any society, none more so than Cambodia where individuals are desperate for a voice. Meta House regularly commissions Cambodian artists to produce artworks focusing on important topics such as national reconciliation, social justice, public health or human rights. Collaboration with or contributions by international artists underline the significance of arts and media as a tool of understanding, mediation, and communication across and beyond cultures.
SCHOOL AND COMMUNITY EVENTS
As the arts scene continues to grow in Cambodia, there is perhaps one facet that remains absent; theatre. Outside of expat productions, local theatre tends to revolve around traditional dance or shadow puppetry. Up until recently there were no theatre programs aimed at the biggest demographic group in Cambodia, children. Since 2015, Meta House performs educational theatre in classrooms, in direct cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS). So far, more than 200,000 students have attended performances of three original plays, written by emerging Cambodian authors: “The Courageous Turtle” by Chea Sokyou sheds light on the legacy of the Pol Pot years; “The Sober Loris” by Choun Sopheap, educates youth about the risks of underage-drinking and drunk-driving; “I am a Daughter” by Kim Dyna, advocates for girl education and gender-equality.
We live in times of great social, humanitarian, political, and environmental challenges. Artists have an important role to play in bringing these challenges to the attention of the public. Meta House is a cultural lab for social change; a creative home to generate culture that moves people. Besides organizing events at our facility, we continue to implement art-related activities in community centers, schools and universities. In direct cooperation with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports (MoEYS) and other NGOs, we were able to introduce educational theatre into learning facilities nation-wide. So far, more than 500.000 students have been participating in our outreach projects.
Looking at the Asian documentary scene means entering a universe of diverse traditions of storytelling, filmmaking, visual aesthetics and cultural backgrounds. However, Cambodia still lacks infrastructure; up until now, there’s no film school, no state funding, no broadcasting support and only a very small audience, which appreciates non-fiction-films. Since its inception in 2007, Meta House has conducted a large number of training programs to encourage documentary filmmakers on site, support artistic film projects and build up international networks in order to prepare the ground for a dynamic scene in Cambodia. The EU-funded “DocNet”-project was able to connect 20 young Cambodian filmmakers with colleagues from Vietnam, Laos, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia and Myanmar. Local and international filmmakers continue to screen their works at our center. We encourage beginners and professionals to contact us.