Interviews for the Flea Market of Memories II


13/08/2011 Interviews for the Flea Market of Memories II

Thol Dina

Book: This is about love education for teens. Before marriage, the couple must do blood test for HIV, because teens in this era have a lot of love partners before getting married. So blood test for HIV is required. This book is valuable for me; when I read this topic, as we are teens, I think that if we don’t do blood test, we will get infected. Sometimes, people don’t know, so it is difficult to decide to get married or not. This book was printed in 2008, in 11 000 copies, for teenagers to read and know about its importance. For example, a real story in the book: “The parents of the couple accept to marry their son and daughter. Finally, the future bride and groom decide not to get married because, after his blood test for HIV, he finds himself HIV-positive. He still loves the woman and doesn’t want to spread the disease to her.” The essential point of this story is to encourage all teenagers to dare to face the blood test. I keep this book for my younger brothers and sisters. They can read and understand its essential meaning. I don’t want to exchange it for another thing. I just want to share my story.

Labor shoes: These shoes are the gift that my elder sister gave me for my 8th birthday. I hadn’t expected her to buy them for me. One day, when in the market with her, I had seen and loved them, but I hadn’t told her. In fact, she had bought them without telling me. When my birthday arrived, she gave them to me. I was very happy. Now, as they are old, I put them aside. I keep them in my memory. The model of these shoes doesn’t exist anymore. My elder sister maybe doesn’t know that I still keep them. I will be regretful if I lose them. I will exchange them for another party’s object that I need.



Yim Sam On, So Samros’s mother, 69 years old, finished her French studies at 12th grade.

Knitted pullover: I knit this pullover before Pol Pot regime. This is a two-needle-knit pullover. When I was 10 years old, I learned to knit it for myself to use in the cool season. As I loved it too much, I kept it until the Khmer Rouge regime. I kept it in the house of someone else. That time was Pol Pot regime. Nobody cared about it. So I put it in a package in a miserably old house. Since Khmer Rouge regime, I’ve kept it with me as a souvenir. Until now, it has been more than 50 years. It was passed on to my older daughter, then So Samros, who is my youngest daughter, and then my grand-daughter. At that time, there weren’t a lot of pullovers in Cambodia. Now I still keep it. But I will agree if there is an exchange with anyone’s object that satisfies me.



Sam Sophoan, 56 years old, lives in Phnom Penh, is working at French Cultural Center, and is the Director of Kampong Speu Orphanage Organization.

Small tea pot: It is the tea pot that I love the most because it has been a souvenir since 1986. In 1986, I was pregnant with my second daughter. Now she is 20 years old. One day, I was walking behind my house. I remember it was just before sunset. There was the red light of the sun from the West. It was very beautiful. I am a woman who loves the sunset. At that time, I lived in Takhmao district. While I was walking around my house, I stopped and scratched the ground with a stick and saw the handle of this tea pot in the ground. A first, I thought it was a bug, but it didn’t move. I continued to scratch the ground until I saw its shape. I took a knife to pick it up and watched it. There were Chinese style motifs on it. I’ve kept it since then. Now it is my daughter’s age. But I am sickened about guests who came to my house with their children. The kids were playing at the place where I displayed it, and broke it. But I put together the broken pieces just after that. Why do I love this tea pot so much? Although it’s not beautiful, it is the work of a former artist who had worked hard to make it. The carving exists almost everywhere on its surface, including tree motif carving that shows us the perseverance of the artist. For the tea pot handle, the wire is bent beautifully and firmly. It is the first souvenir I had seen before my daughter. When my daughter was born, I thought that it was a lucky charm as my daughter. So I’ve kept it although there have been broken marks on it. I don’t believe that broken things should not be kept in the house. On the contrary, for the things that I love, whether or not they are broken, if I can repair it, I will keep it forever. I put this tea pot on the table with other souvenirs.
Speaker: I bought it in 1996, but its life is maybe earlier than when I bought it. The seller told me that he got it from an abandoned house. He is a TV and tape recorder technician. So he brought this speaker to his house. Honestly, at that time, I had family crisis, but I am a strong woman and dare to struggle to live by myself. So I found a way to console myself by keeping an object that would make me strong again for the sake of the future of my children and country. When we have a good family, our society will be also good. So I tried to find a way to console myself in dignity. At that time, I was a teacher at French Cultural Center. I often bought blank audio tapes to record lessons for my students. When I went to buy them at the house of the tape recorder technician, I saw this speaker. I asked if he sold it. He asked me why I wanted to but it as it was very old. I asked him to sell it to me if it still worked although it was old. He sold it to me at US$ 38. I often listened to music alone during my free time or when I was cleaning my house. I think it is my good friend because it makes me love the house, love myself as a woman, and helps me console myself. Now I take it as my TV partner. I maybe wait to see if this object can be exchanged for something else. I also want hear from anyone who has a souvenir that I like and want to do this exchange.


First presentation of SurVivArt within the ÜBER LEBENSKUNST Summer Festival

Opening: Wednesday,  August 17th, 2011 /19:00 at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt,

John -Foster-Dulles-Allee 10, Berlin

SurVivArt …


San Sreymao, 26 years old, painting artist, from Ek Phnom district, Battambang province. Most of her works are story series paintings and different types of …

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Oeur Sokuntevy

Oeur Sokuntevy studied painting at the Phare Ponleu Selpak in Battambang and moved to Phnom Penh in 2007 to follow her chosen career path. Sokuntevy has had much interest in her work as one of the very few female contemporary artists currently showing in Cambodia. Sokuntevy’s painting style is rich by color and has a …

About SurVivArt

The Heinrich Böll Stiftung central office in Berlin, Germany in cooperation with some of its regionals offices develops SurVivart, a project which through artistic and cultural actions, will propose a reflection on how sustainable practices can be incorporated in everyday life. More

SurVivArt Exhibition 2012

    SurVivArt - Arts for the right to a Good Life
    Exhibition February 5 - 24, 2012

    at the galleries:

  • Meinblau
  • Mikael Andersen
  • Pfefferberg, Christinenstrasse 18/19, Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin

    Opening Sunday February 5, 2012. 18:00

    Pressekontakt Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung:
    Karoline Hutter, Pressesprecherin, E-Mail:, Tel.: 030 - 285 34-202
    Achim Klapp, E-Mail:,, Tel.: 030 - 257 97 016

To Live or to Live a Good Life

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