Artists Despair as Phare Ponleu Selpak Temporarily Closes
Phare Ponleu Selpak, the Cambodian non-profit organisation and art school in Battambang province has announced its temporary closure for the whole month of April due to the continuous rise of COVID-19 cases, leaving artists feeling worried about their jobs as well as the virus.
Kanha, one of the artists from Phare expressed her despair after their shows have been cancelled. According to her, her life has been committed to doing performances in the circus since she was young.
However, COVID-19 has hugely impacted them as there are no more shows due to the absence of tourists in the area and the fear of getting infected with the coronavirus disease.
“I liked the circus so much that I decided to fully commit to it, to be able to perform in many countries around the world and in Cambodia. And I am very proud of us, of the work we do with my team to represent this unique artistic skill in Cambodia and share Cambodian stories to both international and national audiences through our shows,” she said describing how circus has meant to her.
She added that along with the other artists, they do not have a clue as to how long will they stay stagnant as their shows are being affected by the pandemic.
Osman Khawaja, Phare’s executive director told Khmer Times that in addition to the closure of the shows, other activities such as workshops are also closed.
“Even if shows open up again, with no tourists we will have a hard time making enough money to survive. The students would earn from the shows to support themselves, their schooling and their families, which they are not able to do anymore,” he said.
He added that live shows are also the main platform for performing art students to practice their skills…
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