Studio Revolt is an independent artist run media lab that produces films, videos, installations and performance projects in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The media lab serves as a collaborative space for performance artist Anida Yoeu Ali and filmmaker Masahiro Sugano. Through his films, Sugano reconsiders cultural and political norms that have constricted our imagination and dulled our senses. Ali performs unapologetic poems and declarations of the self beyond fixed identities and borders. Together their works open up possibilities for people to exist outside of conventional narratives. Studio Revolt takes it a step further by urging viewers to become participants and stake their claim in this world.
Launched in Phnom Penh
Studio Revolt launched in June 2011 during Anida Yoeu Ali’s U.S. Fulbright research year. While residing in Cambodia, the studio collaborates with emerging Cambodian and deported artists to assert a new generation of narratives. Together we will shape a new movement that frees Cambodian imagination and consciousness beyond war and poverty. This is not another school or NGO. Media-based work does not mean more documentaries. Studio Revolt focuses on fiction and creative storytelling. With over 3,000 registered NGOs here, a culture of dependency leaves Cambodians with no sense of ownership. We want to see Cambodian people own their creativity, narratives, and ultimately their destinies. Imagination is a means to ownership. Fiction unlocks possibilities for the human condition. Cambodia needs narratives beyond the ones imposed on them through media practices they did not define or create. We do not want to just hand out tools or tell local Cambodians what is needed. Instead we would like to instill inspiration, desire, and esteem. We position ourselves as catalysts for competition, collaboration and participation, not as leaders or experts. We identify as part of the unfolding contemporary narrative. We are here to co-own and collaborate.
More About the Artists
Performance artist, writer and global agitator, Anida Yoeu Ali is a first generation Muslim Khmer woman born in Cambodia and raised in Chicago. Utilizing video, installation, sound, and performance, her works investigate the artistic, spiritual and political collisions of a hybrid transnational identity. Anida is a recipient of the 2011 U.S. Fulbright Fellowship to Cambodia where her art and research focuses on creation mythologies and birthing stories of Khmer women. She earned her B.F.A. in Graphic Design from University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) and her M.F.A. in Studio Arts/Performance from School of the Art Institute Chicago.
Born in Osaka, Japan, Masahiro Sugano came to the states in 1990 with an itch to do one thing: make movies! Masahiro, a Sundance Film Festival alum, is an award winning filmmaker whose accolades stretch from a Student Academy Award nomination in 1997 to his most recent award as the 2010 grand prize recipient for LinkTV’s One Chicago One Nation online film competition. After an international run at film festivals in Pusan, Singapore and Buenos Aires, Masahiro’s first feature length film ART OF LOVE was distributed on DVD. He earned a B.A. in philosophy from California State University (Northridge) and an M.F.A. in film/video/animation from the University of Illiniois (Chicago). Masahiro currently resides in Phnom Penh Cambodia where he is embarking on his second feature length film project.
Resident artist Kosal Khiev is a poet, tattoo artist, and survivor of the US prison system. Born in a Thai refugee camp, Kosal’s family fled to the U.S in 1981. At age 16, Kosal was arrested in a gang fight, charged with attempted murder, then sentenced to 16 years. While in prison, spoken word became his creative channel to tell his own story and transform his anger, regrets, and experiences into a poetic art form. In 2011, the U.S. government deported him to Cambodia, a country he had never been. Kosal lives as an exiled American in Phnom Penh where he continues to share his compelling story and art at open mics, universities, and public stages.