Phloeun Prim on Carrying Traditions Through Difficult Times
Phloeun Prim discusses the sharing of culture in post-conflict societies.
Phloeun Prim is the executive director of Cambodian Living Arts (CLA). A visionary cultural entrepreneur, he has spearheaded CLA’s transformation from a grassroots project reviving traditional arts to the leading cultural agency in Cambodia. He has led the organization to extend its reach from local to international programming, and to evolve its role from merely recording traditions to stimulating innovation. The major “Season of Cambodia” festival in New York in 2013, a project involving 125 artists and 34 presenting partners, symbolizes the capacity that Prim has brought to CLA during his tenure. Prim is regularly invited to present at and participate in influential global dialogues relating to arts and development, from the Aspen Institute to the Salzburg Global Seminar. In 2016, CLA will bring cultural leaders from around the world to Phnom Penh for a major international forum on “Living Arts in Post-Conflict Contexts.” Previously, Prim led the commercial development of Artisans Angkor, an organization selling high-end handicrafts. Born during the genocide, he and his family fled Cambodia and immigrated to Canada. However, Prim is proud to have returned to Cambodia and to be a part of the movement to use the arts for healing, social transformation, and economic development.