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arts4peace Festival

Phnom Penh, Cambodia
November 14-24, 2019

Download Program

The Unsung Heroes Project aimed to identify people from around the country who have dedicated their time to reviving, preserving, and developing the arts. We wish to express our gratitude for the work that they have done. We worked with nine local researchers, who traveled to every province to identify and interview artists and cultural practitioners. For the past 6 months, they have met and interviewed people who have dedicated their lives to the arts. During the festival we featured stories from 25 of the Unsung Heroes that we discovered on that journey. This exhibition was created by TAN Vatey and Sinta WIBOWO.

Unsung Heroes

Venerable PIN Sem
CHEAV Chorng
EN Saren
KHA Sros
KLOTH Sameth
MAO Sophorn
NHEK Kosal
NOB Saet
PIN Phon
RIM Saosi
ROS Samoeurn
SEAN Sophal
SO Phuong
SOU Phalla
SREY Bandaul


AN Raksmey

AN Raksmey is Deputy Director at the Bureau of Cultural Development, under MOCFA in Kampong Thom Province. He also conducts independent research, which he shares via his platform Living with Heritage. Raksmey is especially pleased to shine a spotlight on artists whose practice is deeply connected to their local area.


CHHUN Kimly is currently pursuing a degree in Architecture and Urbanization at the Royal University of Fine Arts. As the youngest researcher on the team, Kimly treasured the chance to spend time with artists who have lived through times she has only been able to learn about through books, and hear their experiences of life in the 60s and the 80s.


KONG Gne is a professional Chapei Dong Veng player. Gne appreciated the opportunity from the Unsung Heroes project to travel to various provinces and spend time with senior artists, learning from their wisdom and experience.

LUN Chomneth

LUN Chomneth is a musician and music teacher, and the grandson of the late Master SOK Duch. Chomneth nominated his Unsung Heroes not only for their artisic talent and work in culture, but because he believes they are role models, whose behaviour in daily life represents the morals and values needed in society.

Ou Buntheng

OU Buntheng is the Tour and Operations Manager at Epic Arts, and an advocate for inclusive society, particularly with respect to people living with disabilities. The provinces that Buntheng covered are major international tourist destinations, and it was heartening through this research to see the resilience of local artistic culture, being nurtured in communities.

PHON Sotheara

PHON Sotheara is an advocate for indigenous peoples' rights, promoting indigenous voices via various audio-visual and social media. The Unsung Heroes nominated by Sotheara reflect the diversity of Cambodian culture and identity, especially in the north-east of the country.

SAY Tola

SAY Tola is an art writer and a fourth year student of Paññāsāstra University of Cambodia majoring in International Relations. Getting involved with the project "Her Sounds" where she met with many women artists, Tola is even more passionately committed on cultural activities at grassroots level. Meeting with RIM Saosi helps her understand about the roles of arts and culture in preserving indegenous identity and in advocating their environment.

TOCH Borin

TOCH Borin is the Director of Krousar Thmey's School of Khmer Arts and Culture, in Serey Sophon. Despite working in the arts himself, this research process was eye-opening for Borin to encounter so many people doing extremely valuable work related to culture, not only in a professional capacity but often at a grassroots level.

UNG Channy

UNG Channy is a youth counsellor, working in schools and community settings. Channy made a deep connection with all the people she interviewed, and believes that although we were only able to select one representative per province, everyone she encountered is an unsung hero.