Not long ago I was lucky enough to be a part of something that I never knew would be so impactful to so many, myself included, where I acted as one of the student translators at the festival.
In March 2018 ISTA had its first Connect festival in Cambodia. The festival consisted of over 100 participants from six different countries where both local and international artists took part in leading different ensembles as they shared the same goal. After three days of the festival, the goal was to perform a piece of art from the starting point Power: past and present.
Prior to the festival Cambodian artists and two ISTA artists came together for their artist training. All of them had the chance to have insights and understanding of the festival’s vision and mission. Because this was the first Connect festival in Cambodia, it was important for the local artists to understand ISTA’s core values including the organisation’s mission and vision. As a student translator, seeing the interactions and collaboration between the artists prior to the festival, it was clear to me that it was going to be more than just a ‘piece of art’.
The festival then officially started its first day. I was very overwhelmed by the connections that were already being built in just one day. Over 100 new faces came together from far and near, where students from Phare also had the opportunity to take part. Over the course of three days participants from different countries were able to be educated in Cambodian culture and its history, regardless of having difficulties in communication due to language barriers.