Written by Sakun, Epic Encounters Dancer & Workshop Coordrinator
Edited for clarity by Hayley, Communications Officer

Savy and I were invited to represent Cambodia at the 20th “Art for All” Conference hosted by United Nations ESCAP in Bangkok, Thailand. We were both very proud that we had the opportunity to represent Cambodia through this platform.

The camp is organized every year by the Art for All Foundation and it provides a platform for Thai students with disabilities to enhance their creativity and build their confidence. I felt the Aims of “Art for All” was to bring arts to everybody and to bring together children with different skills and abilities.

We had a great time over the five-day conference; Savy and I both learnt a lot about communicating with people from other ASEAN countries. There were around 250 attendees from 10 ASEAN countries, all with varying English levels, sometimes I had to use gestures to communicate clearly with the participants.

Savy is deaf so he had the chance to learn some Thai sign Language. He found learning Thai Sign Language really enjoyable, but if something was difficult to understand we had to do a five-way translation from Thai Sign Language to Spoken Thai to English to Spoken Khmer to Cambodian Sign Language.

The Conference itself included a lot of different activities; I really enjoyed the painting workshops. During the evening we had the chance to explore Thailand’s art scene, visiting arts activities and galleries. The conference also organized nightly art activities for children.

We’re also able to develop our professional skills during the conference working together to plan and share workshop plans. We networked and discussed how to use different themes during workshops to teach students and how the arts influence everyday life.We were all invited to share traditional things from our respective countries to the participants and as well as showing off our traditional costumes during a parade on Buddha day.

I think the best thing about the conference was the message “Inclusivity by using variety of arts” and hopefully we get to attend next year at the 21st “Art for All” Conference!