DDP Video Project

November, 2013

Kristin Dadey, a member of the Phnom Penh Catholic community, has several deaf brothers and a sister. She had the idea of producing a video about the Maryknoll Deaf Development Programme to help promote its work and recruited her friend Sita Verma as a partner. Together they developed a project to produce a five-minute DDP video.


Veasna (sign language interpreter), Kristin Dadey, and Sita Verma on the first day of shooting, at a footsal (indoor soccer) center. The video is to focus on the right of every person to language and how DDP deaf people have changed as they acquired language.
Veasna, Kristin Dadey, Sita Verma

Alex Mathews is a professional photojournalist who has worked with the International Organization for Migration where Kristin works. She contacted him and he agreed to undertake this project. Here he attaches a slider to his tripod to add a creative effect to the photography.
Alex Mathews

A friend and professional colleague, also a photojournalist, is Luc Forsyth from Canada. He agreed to work as part of the team helping to promote DDP. He was shooting both still shots and video.
Luc Forsyth

Teaching traditional Khmer dancing
The video team wanted to show various aspects of DDP's work, especially in relation to language. Here Mano, a deaf DDP field worker, teaches traditional Khmer classical dance to a group of deaf women as Luc records their efforts.

Preparing Da Rong for an interview
Later, in the kitchen of DDP House, a hostel for job training students, Sita, Veasna, and Kristin talk to Da Rong, one of the job training students, as they look for good prospects to be interviewed about how their lives have changed after they came to DDP.

Student preparing supper
While other students were learning dance or watching the filming, one student started preparing supper for the 30 students and staff who live in the hostel. The DDP House students work in teams and take turns preparing the evening meal.

A final sunset interview
Near the end of a long afternoon, Alex and Luc set up a final interview with one of the female students as the sun begins to set.


Another Day of Filming

After a day spent yesterday shooting scenes from teacher training and the work of the sign language committee, the video crew rendevouzed at DDP for another day of camera work. Here the barber trainees meet the visitors as Justin introduces Kristin and Sita at the front gate of DDP.
Barber trainees with Justin, Kristin, and Sita

The plan for today was to shoot scenes of DDP students at the various job training centers where the students are learning. Arrangements had been made to visit four or five centers and now Alex, Kristin, and Luc loaded the SUV with camera and lighting equipment. During the day they managed to film four different centers plus the DDP barber shop.
Loading up camera equipment

One of the tasks of continual filming over a period of days is keeping track of where they have been, what they have recorded, whom they have interviewed, and all the other bits of information they will need to eventually edit all the footage into a documentary. Here Justin and Kristin check the names of some of the deaf people filmed today.
Justin and Kristin checking names

Luc getting a shave
The DDP barber school had been closed since Sunday because of a funeral tent set up a meter away from the entrance but we asked the students to come back today for filming purposes. After Alex and Luc got their shots, they also got haircuts. Here Luc, newly shorn, also gets a shave, while Alex looks on, perhaps pondering if it's really safe?

Alex preparing for a haircut
Then Alex took his turn in the barber chair although he decided to forego the shave. The deaf students love cutting the hair of foreigners. It gives them face that a foreigner would come to them and trust them to cut his hair.

Ill-timed funeral tent
With timing unfortunate for DDP—and assuredly also for the person who died, a funeral was carried out in the street in front of DDP. In a throwback to life in the jungle or in the rural areas, families are allowed to set up tents for funerals and weddings which totally block the streets, without asking and without even prior warning. There is no need for this and it
causes huge disruptions and traffic jams, especially in the marriage season, but society here has not yet learned to adjust to life in a city and the government is too weak and incompetent to offer guidance and direction. This family apparently has wealth and wanted to show it, so they kept the tent up for three days, unconcerned that we had to close our barber training because they didn't want to move their funeral to one of the rental halls. On the street they can been seen with all their body guards and flunkies as they saturate the neighborhood with loud chanting and funeral music. This group brought in the green generator on the right that is big enough to power half the block. DDP is the large building on the right, behind the generator.

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