Rivers Roar Project – from Chiang Mai to Battambang
Rivers Roar is a joint project initiated by Sinath Sous and Thanupon Yindee (Golf) which aims to raise awareness of the water issues and improve behavior change in the society of Cambodia and Thailand, the two countries share the main source of water from the Mekong River.
The sharing on the Project happened on Saturday 13 November 2021 was a chance for both teams to reflect on the process of how they have worked with the communities, how people have been involved in it and how the exchange has helped to enhance knowledge, perspectives and the ways of working from both sides, as well as to engage dialogues with like-minded people. The biggest lessons learnt to them were:
- ○ how local wisdom/knowledge was engaged and shared to the young generation
- ○ cross expertises joined
- ○ mutual learnings between communities, artists, environmental experts
Rivers Roar Thai Team (from left): Dao Prakaidao (Artist), Gift Augchara (Artist), Mon Jirawon (Environment Researcher), Golf Thanupon (Art Producer). To learn more about Thai Team’s project, please visit: Makhampom Art Space and Tinniyom Selected
The Rivers Roar Project creates a platform for environmental activists, experts, artists and cultural practitioners to collaborate with each other using different forms of art as a means to raise awareness of the community on the water crisis, improving individual consumption behaviour and empowering the community to manage their water resources. The Thai Team’s work focuses on the communities in Chiang Mai while the Cambodia team implements their project in different rural areas of Battambang.
Rivers Roar Cambodian team (from left): Khuon Chanreaksmey (Production director), MoniSovanya Ry (Artist and Designer), Samnang Heng (Project Assistant), Sinath Sous (Project Coordinator),
Despite the difficult situation caused by COVID-19, the two Fellows have engaged with different Thai and Cambodian artists and environmental activists to implement a 6 month project with different activities that leave profound impacts on communities from both countries. What Rivers Roar project team have done might become a good example for other like-minded people to work on their own projects during the pandemic time, because we know that unexpected impacts like COVID will come again and again, maybe in different names, in the future.
There are many countries in the world that share the same river with each other, however such exchange from upstream to downstream rarely happens anywhere else, as Marco Kusumawijaya – the advisor of the project – remarked after the sharing. Although most rivers only flow one way, the exchange and connection between human and human, communities and communities, human/communities and nature should run both ways. With this project, the two teams “not only share their knowledge but also the empathy to each other,” Marco added. “I hope such a conversation can continue in the future.”
Sinath and Golf met in 2019 when they both joined the first season of SEAΔ Fellowship. The idea of the Rivers Roar Project came to them when the two found out that they shared a common interest related to water issues as their both countries share the main source of water from the Mekong River.
The Mekong River starts from China, crosses Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia, before finishing its 4350 km journey to find the way to the sea through the Mekong Delta in Vietnam.
The project is supported by Mekong Cultural Hub.