List the key activities that were carried out during this reporting period in order to achieve these expected results. Please describe the activities in detail and note their effectiveness or any problems encountered in implementing them.
Nine major activities have been proposed for as the safeguarding activities. Although many activities were fully or partly implemented since the inception of the project, due to limited human resources not only in MCFA but also in Cambodia, some activities need to be expedited to match the timelines given for the implementation. Thus, these activities were rescheduled:
To fully understand the current situation of Chapei and create database of Chapei artists in Cambodia, MoCFA team developed a research questionnaire aiming to cover the following aspects:
• Chapei artists and students and their whereabouts and profiles (age, gender…);
• Conditions of performances (place, income, audiences, supporters, etc.);
• Types of ceremonies and events they perform at;
• Repertoire (contents, lyrics, stories, melody…);
• Level of ability and knowledge of performers (educational background, skills…);
• Community awareness of Chapei (participation, safeguarding, promotion).
Activities and Outputs:
• Development of an updating date of Chapei artists:
By reviewing existing data of MCFA’s Chapei inventory forms, lists of Chapei performers of CLA and CLC, the list of Chapei performers participated in the Chapei and Khsae Deav Festivals, organized by MCFA, we are able to identify 116 Chapei artists (8 artists who died before the preparation of this report are not included) coming from 18 out of 25 provinces of Cambodia. Among them, there are 4 female Chapei artists.
• Interviewing the selected artists:
The selection of Chapei artists is mainly based on their active involvement in Chapei performance and their availability for interview in regard to specially their health. Our team also developed a priority for the interviews by looking into whether the interviewees are:
- women Chapei artists
- disable artists
- aged between 40 to 80
- members of Living Human Treasure or Esteemed artists
- famous Chapei artists or Chapei performance winners
- artists who have been trained with famous Masters or from their parents
- artists who have been trained for many years
- only one or two artists in a province
Out of 116 identified Chapei Artists, we selected and interviewed 53 artists from 18 provinces, namely Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Kampong Speu, Thbong Khmum, Prey Veng, Svay Rieng, Banteay Meanchey, Battambong, Posat, Takeo, Kampot, Kep, Steung Treng, Kampong Thom, Kampong Cham, Oudor Meanchey, Kampong chnang, and Kandal. The rests were requested to answers questions of a prepared questionnaire. Through a close collaboration with Provincial Departments of Culture and Fine Arts, 12 out of 54 artists returned the questionnaire to us.
The interviews were documented by using video and still cameras as well as audio recorders. Completed questionnaires have been collected. Our team organized data according to provinces from where artists are. Data are transcribed, consolidated and analysed. Final documentation and a final reporting of the mapping was prepared.
2. RESEARCH & DOCUMENTATION:
Research team of CLA, as requested by MCFA, implemented its research work and reported to MCFA its progress from the period of September 2018 to February 2020. Research team of CLA lead by Musicologist Patrick Kersalé completed all the work including:
a. Written research document covering:
- Origin of the term Chapei
- Different names of Chapei
- Research on the origin Chapei
- Manufacturing and organology
- Gender of Chapei players throughout history
- Chapei and its relatives in Cambodia
b. Video focusing on:
- Kong Nay & Amund Maarud: a new path for Chapei
- Keo Samnang, a street singer: repertoire pieces and translation
- Chapei and the three-string lesson: Buddhist iconography in Cambodia'
- Restoration and colonization of high definition pictures of the 19th century'
- Kong Nay, the master: repertoire pieces and improvisation with English translations
- Kong Boran, the new generation: repertoire pieces and improvisation with English translations'
- Chapei and the Buddhist iconography outside Cambodia
- Chapei in contemporary Cambodian society
- Making a Chapei
- A documentary film about Chapei
Aiming to wider diffusion of the report and visual documents, an English-Khmer website was launched and updated with new information. YouTube channel dedicated to the Chapei videos will also become soon available.
Moreover, MCFA in collaboration with CLC produced a book entitled "LIVING HERITAGE: The Artists of Cambodian Chapei" to celebrate, promote, and safeguard the tradition. This publication is proudly supported by: UNESCO; Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre and Griffith Centre for Creative Arts Research, Griffith University; MCFA; and CLA.
3. BROADCAST AND MEDIA OUTREACH:
At the outset, MCFA Chapei Project team invited the Cambodian Broadcasting Service (CBS) to discuss a new high quality production of Chapei performance. MCFA also asked CLC to assist in facilitating Chapei masters and community leaders to participate in the program from November 2018 to March 2019. The meeting discussed about:
- how to develop a short broadcasting program
- best way to deliver the Chapei to the audience
- Integration of Chapei masters' opinion on the plan;
- how to evaluate the impact of the program.
However, its execution was not happened. To expedite the work, MoCFA contracted Mr. Pok Borak in February 2020 to do the work. He started the work from March 2020-October 2020. He and his team produced the content as well as do the marketing and promotion of Chapei broadcasting programs. Through his supervision, Chapei artists with assistance and coordination from two artists of the Ministry’s Department of performing arts and the Royal University of Fine Arts jointly created two pieces of “Chapei Theatrical Performance.” The two pieces are from the two Buddhist stories, “Sovanna Sam” and “Soben Koma.” The newly created form is a new proposed strategy to make Chapei a living heritage. The Chapei player still and strongly preserve their original form by adding the living performance along with the narration of the Chapei. These shows although, was live online via MCFA’s facebook page, has gained tremendous popularity with roughly around 500000 views.
4. EDUCATION & TRAINING:
The activities have been delayed and rescheduled. We proposed a new Education and Training schedule from April 2021. Through our mapping project, what we discovered was that the many Chapei winners in Chapei competitions either in the first, second or third place are ignored and they are potential trainers. In the Education and Training, MCFA interviewed and select those winners to join a workshop in Phnom Penh with Grand Master Kong Nay and others for a week. These Masters upon returning to their locales trained young school children and people at nearby secondary schools and at their hometown to stimulate the young to engage in the training. Their training is paid through the projects. In the near future, as a part of MCFA and Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports’ “Education for Culture and Culture for Education” project, some of them will be recruited as a fulltime or part time staff of either ministry of Education or MCFA. Furthermore, Chapei instruments have also been provided to their training place. Those Masters would not be able to afford the Chapei for the training and without Chapei instruments, the training is difficult.
5. SECONDARY SCHOOL OF FINE ARTS (STATE SCHOOL):
In the curriculum of the Secondary School of Fine Arts, which is under the patronage of MCFA, a formal education in Chapei is already included and is obligatory for students. A concrete Chapei curriculum was developed by a few experts.
6. CHAPEI FESTIVAL:
Three Chapei Festival were planned in different places in Cambodia.
The first was organized by CLA’s Heritage Hub team in Siem Reap from 30 November-2 December 2018 at the Heritage Hub office in Wat Bo Pagoda. The Festival was participated by 25 Chapei Masters and Students, local two groups of public school students, 15 volunteers, local art communities including Sounds of Angkor, Wat Bo Puppet Troupe, TukTukTV, Phare Social Enterprise, Bamboo Stage, Silong Original, Small Art School and American Corner.
- The second was organized in Phnom Penh by Cambodian Living Chapei under the patronage of CLA. The event was taken place from 28 to 30 of November 2019 with participation of Chapei Masters, Chapei Students, University students and as well as the general public with the total participation of 2048 people.
- Firstly aimed to organize in Kandal Province by linking Chapei to the community of Wat Svay Andet where another USL was inscribed. Unfortunately due to the Covid-19 Pandamic causing the restriction to public gathering, the Chapei festival was organized online in Phnom Penh with limited number of participations only a few organizers and dozen of Chapei artists were taken part. This first time online Chapei festival also gained tremendous support from the public.
7. INSTRUMENT COST
The high cost of Chapei instruments is hindering students from studying Chapei as well as for art schools to maintain Chapei classes. The grant from UNESCO for purchasing Chapei instruments helped artists to reduce their financial burden. Based on our survey conducted in 2018, we found only two Chapei manufacturers in Phnom Penh due to low demand. Long Borarith's Chapei shop and Chum Prasoeur's Chapei shop are the only shops today that produce Chapei at a reasonable price and quality. The distribution of Chapei instruments to public schools was a part of the project and MoCFA invited Chapei masters and other artists for consultation prior to the purchases. Based on these comments in the first year MCFA purchased 10 Chapei instruments and distributed them as follows: 4 for Secondary School of Fine Arts, 1 Chhouk Va High School, 2 for Kampot Traditional Music School for Orphaned and Disabled Children, and 3 for CLC.
8. CHAPEI LAUREATE
Although planned for an annual Chapei competition, MCFA Chapei team has not developed a concrete plan yet. However, we wish provide ranks and honorarium for winners in previous completion and sustain them in training at schools or in their villages. This will be conducted in the near future when the Covid-19 pandemic is better.
9. MONITORING and EVALUATION:
Our team with kind assistance from UNESCO Phnom Penh Office, we are able to identify Mr. Rahul GOSWAMI as an international evaluator for Chapei Project as stated to Activity 9 “Monitoring and Evaluation.” Mr. GOSWAMI agreed to be an International Evaluator. A TOR for Mr. GOSWAMI was prepared. The contract will be signed early April 2020.