Community-Led Initiative to Assist Asian Independent Photojournalists

Last Saturday, Hanoi hosted Angkor Hangover 2023, an event which included a screening of works from the Angkor Photo Workshop 2023 and a discussion with this year's participants.


The Angkor Photo Workshops, Southeast Asia’s longest-running international photography event, began in 2005 with the aim of providing accessible, high quality professional training to emerging photographic talents in the region. This year, the event was held from 6-15 January in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

During the ten-day workshop, renowned photographers from around the world shared their expertise with the participants, giving them the opportunity to hone their skills and develop their portfolio. In addition to shooting sessions and workshops, participants were also able to interact with industry professionals and gain valuable insight into the industry.

The Angkor Photo Workshops are a great way for photographers of all levels to gain experience, network, and build their portfolio. The event is also a great opportunity to meet other photographers from across the region and gain valuable knowledge from the industry’s leading professionals. This year, the event was an overwhelming success and provided a platform for emerging photographic talents to discover their true potential.

There are four participants from the Philippines, three from Vietnam, two from India, and two from Cambodia.

Representatives from Thailand, Singapore, Myanmar, and Nepal all had one participant each in an important event.

Community-based Format to Support Asian Independent Photojournalists
Angkor Hangover 2023, a screening of works made during the Angkor Photo Workshop 2023 and discussion with this year’s participants, took place last Saturday in Hanoi (Photo: Nhung Nguyen).

Designed to be adaptive, this year’s program included a range of activities, from guided workshops to self-directed photo walks.

The Angkor Photo Festival & Workshop returned this year with a redesigned format to enhance and nurture each individual participant’s own unique viewpoint and autonomous approach to their photography. This year’s program was designed to be versatile and included a variety of activities, from guided workshops to self-guided photo walks. The annual event is tuition-free, providing an opportunity for photographers to learn and grow.

For seven consecutive days, photographers were guided by three tutors—Veejay Villafranca, Katrin Koenning, and Antoine D’Agata—as well as alumni facilitators Sean Lee, Uma Bista, and Mien-Thuy Tran.

Community-based Format to Support Asian Independent Photojournalists
The Angkor Photo Festival & Workshop was held from 6-15 January in Siem Reap (Cambodia) (Photo:

Fifteen emerging photographers from Asia displayed their works in the Matca Photography Space in Hanoi, under the title of “Angkor Hangover 2023”. This exhibition showcased a selection of captivating pieces from these talented artists. It was an opportunity to explore and appreciate the creativity of these photographers from Asia.

Vietnamese photographers recently attended the “Angkor Photo Festival & Workshop”, an event showcasing photography projects from around the world. Among them were a number of photo projects from Vietnamese photographers, who displayed their work to a wide audience.

The photographers exhibited photographs that showcased the beauty and diversity of their home country, capturing scenes from daily life, traditional festivals, and the stunning landscapes of Vietnam. These images highlighted the unique culture of the country, its vibrant colors, and its rich tradition.

The photographers also had the opportunity to interact with other photographers from around the world, giving them the chance to share their stories and experiences. They also had the chance to participate in the workshops and seminars that were held during the festival, enabling them to hone their skills and learn from experts in the field.

The “Angkor Photo Festival & Workshop” was a fantastic opportunity for these photographers to showcase their work and to learn from others in the industry. It was an event that highlighted the beauty and culture of Vietnam, and the photographers who participated were proud to be part of it.

The Last Day I Remember by Duy Dao
It was the last day I remember,
The day that I looked back,
At all the memories I made,
And all the dreams I had.

It was the last day I remember,
The day that I looked ahead,
To all the possibilities that lay before me,
And all the paths that I could tread.

It was the last day I remember,
The day that I smiled,
At all the joys that life had to offer,
And all the beauty that surrounded me.

It was the last day I remember,
The day that I said goodbye,
To all the people and places I had known,
And all the moments that had passed me by.

It was the last day I remember,
The day that I looked forward,
To all the adventures that lay ahead,
And all the possibilities that I could explore.

It was the last day I remember,
The day that I realized,
That no matter what happened in life,
I would never be alone.

Away, a way – a journey of self-discovery, through life’s winding paths. An exploration of the unknown, an adventure of the heart. A path of courage and resilience, of strength and hope. Where the journey leads us, we cannot know, but we can be brave enough to take the first steps. Along the way, we will learn, grow, and be inspired. We will find beauty in the unknown and discover our own true potential. This is the journey of Away, a way.

Under the Sun, Van-nhi Nguyen paints a vivid picture of life in all its beauty and complexity. From the joy and love of family life to the struggles and uncertainties of the future, this collection of poetry captures the complexity of what it means to be human. Through the use of vivid imagery and lyrical language, Van-nhi Nguyen takes readers on a journey of self-discovery and growth. With a voice that is both passionate and reflective, the poems in Under the Sun explore the joys and sorrows of life, all while offering a message of hope and resilience. This powerful collection of poetry speaks to the heart and speaks with an intensity that will stay with readers long after the last page is turned.

The screening was followed by a sharing session with two Vietnamese participants, Nguyen Van Nhi and Duy Dao, and Jessica Lim, the Director of the Angkor Photo Festival and Workshops. During the session, the three shared their respective experiences and perspectives on the art of photography. They discussed various aspects of the craft, such as composition, lighting, and story-telling. It was a great opportunity for attendees to gain valuable insights into the photography industry.

Sharing at the screening, Jessica stated that Angkor Hangover is completely organized by former participants of the Angkor Photo Festival and Workshop, beginning with Angkor Hangover 2012 in Manila (Philippines).

Jessica also highlighted the positive outcomes of the workshops, which have been greatly improved by the involvement of local photography communities within the country.

“It is important that the alumni go back to their local community and share their experiences and successes. This will inspire more people to follow in their footsteps. The [Angkor Photo Festival and Workshop] is an ideal regional hub, so it is essential to support local communities and local groups,” said the Director.

Vietnamese photographer Van-nhi Nguyen noted that this year’s festival is unique; participants are required to submit a project idea when applying, which posed a challenge for young and inexperienced photographers. She found the rapid pace of the workshop to be a daunting experience, unlike any other project she had undertaken.

Photographer Duy Dao fondly remembers the tutors who were not just experts, but also alumni, leaving an indelible mark on him. He believes that he was able to successfully overcome the week-long challenge of the workshop due to his ability to adapt, adjust, and create proactively in challenging conditions.

New Format to Support Asian Independent Photojournalists
Photo by Van-nhi Nguyen (Vietnam)
New Format to Support Asian Independent Photojournalists
Photo by Millo Ankha (India)
New Format to Support Asian Independent Photojournalists
Photo by Choulay Mech (Cambodia).
Zoey Nguyễn