DIGITAL
September 2018

Sometimes numbers lose their meaning and become hard to fully take in. How do we even begin to imagine the fatalities of the 1918 flu pandemic that killed 50 to 100 million people (3–5 % of the world’s population)? How do we take in the number six million i.e. the number of European Jews who were systematically killed by the German Nazi regime during the Second World War? Or the number 20 million – the number of deaths many historians have suggested that Stalin was responsible for during the Communist regime? The truth is that we can’t. The numbers are too big, too abstract and too unreal. The Cambodian genocide that was carried out by the Khmer Rouge regime killed approximately 1.5 to 3 million Cambodians. Again, these are such high numbers that they easily become just that… numbers. So how can we make these numbers come alive? How can we make them something other than just dry statistics? The answer is simple: by finding a connection to them. A real and tangible one.

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Something bigger than ourselves

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...

Gladly Proven Wrong

Drama, theatre and ISTA can really bring people all around the world closer together. I am the mother of Tessie Yu from Good Hope School in Hong Kong, one of the participants at the high school ISTA festival in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. She also went...

Transformed and Moved

We believe that through creativity we can expand our potential as human beings. ISTA festivals are always unique and transformative experiences and an opportunity for our Harrow Hong Kong drama pupils to work alongside children from other countries...

Bringing Light and Truth

We are all connected... even the trees. Arthur Miller The word ‘connect’ is a combination of two Latin words: ‘con’ meaning ‘together’ and ‘nectere’ meaning ‘to bind’. This marriage of words made its way into the English...

The Power of WOKing the TOK

It is through memories that we develop our personal sense of identity and how we fit into the shared knowledge and shared life of our communities. This festival is a hard one to write about, namely because it was packed so deep with connections...

Our Festival From My Heart

My heart simply swelled with pride and love for the artists, for the students and for ISTA because I was a part of something that brought Cambodians a little bit further out of their dark past and into their bright and hopeful future. I am sure...

Surprised by Joy

I come away a different and a better person, artist, educator. I don’t know if you’ve ever played Connect 4. It’s a popular game that’s been around for ages. The rules are straightforward. It’s a sort of variation of noughts and crosses....

That Feeling

Everyone who was there knew what they felt and walked away from it with that feeling. What to say here? What words to write down? So many moments in Phnom Penh – Epic Arts from Batam Bang, the Cambodian Killing Fields, the homeless boy on the...

Having a Phnomenal Time

The ISTA Connect programme is all about creating diverse theatre experiences that recognise and value place and people of difference. What a crazed rush of images, emotions, questions, moments of awe and wonder. And a deep privilege to have been...

The Importance of Events Like These

I was amazed at the relationships built amongst the performers and artists and how quickly they developed. On 2nd March 2018 the International School of Phnom Penh hosted its first ISTA festival. The festival’s starting point was Power: past and...

Problem? No Problem.

'បញ្ហា? អត់បញ្ហា។ ’ -- សំ មន្នី 'Problem? No problem.’ Monny Som, Phare Ponleu Selpak Normally I don’t struggle with writing but trying to describe the recent ISTA Connect festival is an exception....

The Unlimited Ways of Connecting

How can a place that has experienced so much suffering look so peaceful? With loud silence piercing my ears, I picked up the blue-pink krama and held it in front of my face. A krama is a traditional scarf made of cotton symbolising the Cambodian...