REPORT
7TH WORLD COMIC CONFERENCE

Held for three days from Friday, September 30 to Monday, October 3, 2005
Place: Boksagol Cultural Center, Bucheon City Hall

Prepared by Soeung Makara
Comic Artist in Cambodia

Before describing the process and activities of this magnificent event, I wish to thank those who encouraged and provided me with the opportunity to participate in the event. They are all founders in the Cambodian Book Development Federation.

I would now like to report briefly as follows:

On September 29, 2005 at 6:30 p.m., I left for Korea. The flight took 13 hours and 30 minutes. I arrived at the Korean International Airport on September 30, 2005 at 7:30 a.m. I waited for over two hours as I lost communication with the Korean side. I decided to call the office of the Conference-Organizing Committee. I had a telephone conversation with them. Then, I received enough information about the location where I would be staying. I traveled by taxi to Korio Hotel where I was to stay. At around 11:30 a.m., I met a person from the Conference-Organizing Committee, who was responsible for assisting the participants of the conference. After that, I took a rest for about 30 minutes. Later, they brought an interpreter to help us. We had lunch and met for the first time with participants from Indonesia, Korea and Mainland China.

I was then invited to participate in the conference, where the participants were welcomed by the Minister of Tourism and Culture, City Mayor and Chairman of the Conference, Chief of the Comic Center in the city of Bucheon and professor from the Faculty of Drawing Arts who was responsible for answering all questions regarding the comic and technological systems.

At 8:00 p.m., the greeting was over. We traveled to have dinner together, which was organized and offered at a luxurious building, the City Hall. There, we met and conversed with the participants from Korean major institutions and the participants from other countries such as Japan, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Mongolia, Thailand, Myanmar, Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, India, North Korea, Russia, Spain, Germany, Belgium, Australia, America, Canada, Iran, France, Kenya, Brazil and the other several countries that I cannot remember. The participants came from a total of about 30 countries. In the meantime, I shared with them information related to the arts, particularly comic arts. I also gave my name cards to many of them. At 11:00 p.m., we returned to the hotel.

The following days:

October 1, 2005:

From 9:00 a.m. onwards, there were presentations about comics in developed countries. The speakers were from Korea, Japan, China and Brazil. The comics in developed countries utilize electronics such as telephone, internet and websites. What is most interesting is the printing, which is very advanced and popular.

October 2, 2005:

October 3, 2005:

On the same day, I made the following presentation to the conference: I am Soeung MAKARA from Cambodia. I am very pleased and highly honored to have the opportunity to attend this 7th Conference, organized in Korea. It is the first time for me, and the first time for a representative from Cambodia to partake in such a conference.

Before I made my presentation, I addressed my thanks to the following people:

They had made the conference possible. After I had listened to the presentation and discussion for two days, I sincerely appreciated the amazing progress in experience and ideas, which burned my heart because there is so little development of the comics in Cambodia that I could not mention much about it. Despite minimal experience, the comic artists in Cambodia have been working together in this field. In addition, the shortage of materials and techniques in this field has slowed down its progress.

Finally, I requested their support for exchanges of experience and for the Cambodian comic artists.

All the delegates supported us. They spent some time inquiring about our comics. Almost all of the participants came and asked me about them, which showed their interest in Cambodian people.

After that, the organizing committee took us to visit a tourist site called "IINS WORLD". At the site, there were replicas of the famous buildings in the world including the temple of Angkor Wat.

At the end of my brief report on the process and activities of this 7th Conference, I would like to make an apology to all fellow drawing artists who read this report as I have little experience, and my writing might not be very good. However, everything I have described is true.

I wish all my fellow artists happiness. We should work together because comic artists are as important as politicians. Only through our concerted efforts can we develop this field.

Once again, I wish Mr. John Weeks, Mr. Piseth and Ms. Ratana, who whole-heartedly assisted me, happiness and every success in all their tasks.

Phnom Penh, October 6, 2005

SOEUNG MAKARA

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