Heather Stilwell Photo Exhibition at Craft Peace Cafe

A new photo exhibition by Heather Stilwell opens at the Craft Peace Cafe on Mar. 23 at 2pm. The exhibition, entitled Dorsu – The Struggle for Change catalogues the some of the struggles faced by people all over the country.

Dorsu is a Khmer word that means ‘struggle,’ it has become the slogan for garment workers, activists, and communities in Cambodia who are fighting to improve their lives. This exhibition portrays some of the people and stories involved in this struggle.

Each photograph was taken in the last year during street protests, at garment factories, or inside people’s homes to capture rarely seen moments. A 72-year-old land activist called grandmum stands strong in front of a row of demonstration police; a young boy waits for water at a camp after being displaced miles from his home; and a group of garment workers celebrate after winning a months-long battle with two of the biggest brand names in the world.

One Phnom Penh garment worker described dorsu as “holding hands together to fight for our rights,” and that is what this exhibition aims to show. The photographs are not only moments of struggle, but also of hope and strength.

Heather Stilwell is a Canadian photographer and writer based in Cambodia. After finishing a graduate programme in journalism, she worked in South Sudan for a year assisting local journalists to report on human rights issues in conflict areas. In Cambodia, she works with Radio Voice of Democracy (VOD) to report mainly on the garment industry and to share workers’ stories through photography, video, radio and print.

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