LUANG PRABANG: A UNESCO WORLD HERITAGE TOWN
A 55 min documentary made as part of the 20th anniversary since the town became inscribed as a World Heritage Town. The film was produced for the Luang Prabang World Heritage Office and was made possible with support from the US Embassy in Vientiane through the Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation.
For more in depth information please visit our blog page:
PORTRAITS FROM LUANG PRABANG
Portraits from Luang Prabang
We made a film incorporating interviews with local people to create a ‘window’ on Luang Prabang in Laos from a different perspective. Many visitors see the traditional arts and culture of Luang Prabang when they buy souvenirs, go to a show or visit museums. However they don’t often get to see how these traditions are kept alive by the people who work as local artisans and in small village industries. This film goes behind the scenes and depicts a vital part of life in Luang Prabang. We created simple ‘moving’ portraits of the people who are the heartbeat of this small UNESCO heritage town in SE Asia. ‘
Portrait of an Abbot
One of the ‘Portraits’ became a standalone vignette; This short film was awarded in the International Photography Awards in LA. The drawings as part of the creative transitions were all created by Paul Bloxham for the longer film.
We also created a set of 4 short promotional films that have been used over the years to attract visitors to this well preserved unique UNESCO heritage town.
Khai Paen: Behind the Scenes
When we recorded the sound track for the part about the Khai Paen harvesting we made a short ‘Behind the Scenes’ showing the team at work and artist Paul Bloxham at work on ideas for sketches.
Khai Paen is a river-weed harvested from the Mekong River and other rivers. It is a particular food from Luang Prabang and often served as a snack or accompaniment with other foods.
The Seasons: A Hmong Story from Laos.
From rice cultivation and preparing the fields to the new year celebrations.
The Hmong migrated from southern China in the nineteenth century to the mountainous areas of Laos, Vietnam and Thailand. There are only two seasons in Laos, the rainy season and the dry season. It is warm year around. In many villages homes and other buildings are made of bamboo and wood. There is often no electricity for the mountain people, not much machinery, and not many roads. The Hmong walk to their farms and carry home the produce. All work is done by hand. They grow and make everything needed to sustain the family. They are mostly independent self-sufficient people.
The Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation
US Embassy Vientiane, Exhibition in the National Museum Luang Prabang, Northern Laos.
Photography and Production by Adri Berger, Design by Paul Bloxham
Special thanks to Ambassador Clune & Pam DeVolder, US Embassy.
The aim of the project was to showcase projects that received support through the AFCP over a timespan of around 10 years. Our work was to collate the information and create a set of information panels as well as setting up the exhibition in conjunction with the Luang Prabang National Museum. The resulting exhibit was well received with positive feedback from people around the world. For more information please contact us via email.
Ann Ahmed’s Vignettes
Ann Ahmed moved to the United States of America since she was just a child. She developed a love for cooking Lao food through her grandmother. She is now a chef in Golden Valley, Minnesota, where she first opened Lemon Grass then followed by Lat14.
Navajo Artist Exchange in Laos
Navajo Artist Exchange in Laos
The US Embassy in Laos conducted a program in which a cultural exchange happened between local weavers from Laos and Navajo weavers from the USA.
The Navajo weavers visited several important areas in Laos where weaving takes place and is part of daily life for many families.
HIV Prevention in the Lao PDR
A 10-minute movie; educational, funny, sad, touching, culturally sensitive and incorporating the use of puppets. The puppets tell a story, personal in nature and featuring characters with which its audience can identify.
Songs of Lao Book
Below my contributon to this book, 11 photos as part of this group publication with full profits going to fund the Lao Friends Hospital for Children. Experience the beauty of Laos with a hardcover, 112-page book of photographs and texts by:
Adri Berger, Monica Denevan, Kenro Izu, Yumiko Izu, Michael Kenna, and John McDermott.
8.5 x 11 inches, published by Nazraeli Press and Friends Without A Border.
All proceeds benefit Lao Friends Hospital for Children.
Donation of $50 (fully deductible).
11 – The Bathers
So often an image is more about what is not in the frame, the hardship of living, but in the end it’s a central part of the story within the image. The women bathers are part of a larger canvas with a group of young men washing their motorbikes just to the right. Many villages in Laos don’t have running water systems and the rivers are an integral part of daily rituals like bathing, washing clothes and vehicles.
If you are interested in a full description of the photos in this set please contact us.
Let’s Love tells the story of Mai, a young Laotian lesbian struggling to find acceptance and love in a socially conservative society that is not open to her sexual orientation. Through Mai’s complex relationships with her family, friends and wider society, LET’s LOVE illuminates the many obstacles currently facing the LGBTQI community in Laos, making it the first film of this kind ever made in the Laotian context. Mai’s struggle is made worse by the pressure from parents on both sides of her relationships. In the short film these details are approached with great sensitivity at the same time exposing a reality in a highly conform society. Mai’s journey moves from the capital in Laos to the rural area to forget and start afresh. As she finds new love, next Mai encounters emotionally deeply unsettling times in a world that seems to reject Mai for who she really is, a young man trapped in a female body.”
360 VR Gallery - EXISTENCE
AFCP The Ambassador's Fund for Cultural Preservation (US)
The U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) supports the preservation of cultural sites, cultural objects, and forms of traditional cultural expression in more than 100 developing countries around the world. Cultural heritage endures as a reminder of the contributions and historical experiences of humanity. By taking a leading role in efforts to preserve cultural heritage, the U.S. shows its respect for other cultures. AFCP-supported projects include the restoration of ancient and historic buildings, assessment and conservation of rare manuscripts and museum collections, preservation and protection of important archaeological sites, and the documentation of vanishing traditional craft techniques and indigenous languages.
AFCP PROJECTS IN LAOS
We worked closely with the US Embassy in Vientiane to set up several exhibitions in the National Museum in Luang Prabang. The work included setting up the exhibition spaces, photography of artefacts, design of panels by Paul Bloxham and overall lead of the production working with photographers in Vientiane to assemble the work and organise the printing in Bangkok by Bloom Pro Lab.
Overall the exhibitions were a great success.
For more information about the AFCP’s work in Laos please click here to visit the AFCP site.