NUT Cambodia 2018

After the NUT program in Indonesia and Myanmar, Färgfabriken got the opportunity and resources to implement a program also in Cambodia, in cooperation with HEINRICH BÖLL STIFTUNG. The purpose is to create a network in the region for exchanges in culture, architecture, urban planning and issues related to human rights.

Cambodia has been one of the world’s poorest countries, but GDP has now risen for a number of years, though in rural areas poverty remains high. Respect for human rights has long been a problem in the country. 

Due to the political situation in which many organizations working on human rights issues have been harassed by the authorities, Färgfabriken chose to organize a first NUT as a regional conference in Bangkok, Thailand on March 23-24, 2018, with participants from Cambodia, Myanmar, Indonesia and Thailand. A second meeting took place in the idyllic coastal town of Kep in Cambodia in November 16-17, 2018. Both times, several representatives of Cambodian human rights organizations, as well as architects and organizations with experience of working processes involving citizens and civil society, participated. Due to the sensitive situation in the country and given the participants, we have chosen not to post names and pictures of the participants.

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Below a few quotes from participants in workshop and seminar in Kep, Cambodia:

“Trash treatment is an example of a specific issue that could be used to integrate architecture and urban problems. Lessons learned are to include problems of flooding, access to housing areas and transport roads in trash treatment plans. Advocacy to build infrastructure. Training of residents in trash handling and on land titles. Note that people follow rules only if the rules are convenient for them so any system of trash disposal should be practical and easily accessible. Inform about various kinds of trash. Trash can be reused e g in crafts. This can also generate income. The Initiative should come from the community or else it will not work. Try to set up a pilot project to inspire others. One organization had already developed a trash report app. All trash that cannot be recycled should be collected and NGOs can help arrange that with City Hall and a collection company. Architects can design solutions such as trash bins and access paths. Build with local materiel instead of imported and make sure it is not toxic but is down breakable. Artists can help by illustrating trash handling.”

“Common interests were urban housing rights and involving residents in arts as a tool in urban planning. It was noted that poor communities are victims of excess trash from wealthier communities and construction. Severe lack of public space in poorer areas. NGOs should identify issues while architects could work on improvements, e. g, on public space. Form teams with artists, architects and NGOs to work together. Artists can also be tasked to convey urban issues to the public. The teams can raise issues and bring them to the public and explain them, but are not necessarily the problem solvers.

Involve artists in social issues, including writers and photographers to connect people through cultural programs which also contain social issues. Youth and children should be included. Art can deliver reminders of the cultural heritage and history of the city To encourage the three A:s (artists, architects, activists) to engage together why not arrange a fair! But individual persuasion is also necessary.”

“Our questions on NUT are; 
– How we can connect with each other except at meetings. We should implement a more real and integrated form of practical collaboration to discuss answer some questions that have been put during and after NUT with our partners and friends in the network.

– In which part of the South East Asian region could we share knowledge and create a sustainable platform concerned with working and creating something together from different disciplines in our region or perhaps with the NUT network?”


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