© E.F.E.O.

The ruins of Angkor have always captured the imagination. Undeniably one of the most photogenic sites in the world, its significance is even more pronounced when captured in evocative black and white images. In a first for the festival, Françoise Callier thrawled through the École Française d’Extrême-Orient (E.F.E.O.)’s archives to present A Journey into 20th Century Cambodia Through EFEO Photographic Archives, which opens today.

The E.F.E.O. was set up to study and restore the vast ruins and temples of Angkor, and were tireless in documenting their efforts. This special exhibition features more than 80 photographs taken by E.F.E.O. scholars and archaeologists who worked to uncover the mysteries surrounding the Angkor temples and Khmer culture, often with photographers in tow.

The photographs provide an insight into the work of the E.F.E.O. and life in Cambodia from the late 19th century

Programme Director and curator Françoise Callier curated the exhibition from a collection of 26,500 photos, and seeks to highlight E.F.E.O.’s work in Cambodia as well as memories of a forgotten past.  “It was a lot of photographs to go through, but at the same time it was extremely interesting. I saw things that do not exist anymore,” says Françoise.

The photographs provide an insight into the work of the E.F.E.O. and life in Cambodia from the late 19th century. They show scenes from daily life, the bucolic countryside, peeks into the royal family as well as work on the Angkor archaeological sites. Beautiful and intriguing, the images  provide an invaluable record of a place and serve as a nostalgic reminder of the marvellous discovery of an incredible civilisation.

Join us for the exhibition opening party tonight at E.F.E.O. Starts at 6pm.

Thanks to Institut Français and E.F.E.O. for their kind support in making this exhibition happen.

 2015EFEO