Where is My Land?

Where Is My Land?
by Khvay Samnang

Artwork detail
Khvay Samnang with Nget Rady
Where is My Land?
3-channel HD video, 3-channel sound
Edition 3 + 2AP

Where Is My Land is a three-channel video showing acclaimed Cambodian dancer Nget Rady in three locations around Phnom Penh: in the sand-filled remnants of a lake filled in with sand by private property developers, with an exclusive housing estate visible in the background; on the ruins of a destroyed house in a seriously eroded section of riverbank along the Mekong River; and in the sand-pumping pipes in front of a fishing village, with a luxury hotel tower looming.

Nget Rady’s performance in each of these locations responds to the intensity of the physical environment. Khvay Samnang’s direction alternates between close-up shots lingering on details of Rady’s movements, and wide-angle views of the hauntingly unnatural-seeming environments. A narrative begins to emerge, with the dancing figure appearing displaced, disturbed, desperate.

Pumping sand from Cambodian rivers for private development has been identified as a primary cause of erosion, a serious source of environmental harm, forced eviction, and death. Villagers blame the extreme erosion on sanddredging barges and pipelines, the sound of which torments them day and night. With few options for compensation and little if any access to the luxury developments for which the sand is being mined, many are left wondering: Where Is My Land?

-Roger Nelson

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