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timdoak@me.com
+44 (0)77 4320 0407
Belfast, Northern Ireland 

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- monthly newsletter with news on upcoming exhibitions, new photographic projects and photography workshops. 

Photography workshops

My 1 Day ‘Photographer’s Eye’ workshop is ideal for those who want to get the most from their Digital SLR camera. [Find Out More]

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Monday
May282012

Cambodia - Video 3

Final thoughts and reflections on my trip to Cambodia.

Monday
May282012

Cambodia - Video 2

Second video update from Cambodia. Includes info on what I got up to over Khmer New Year and some photos from girls from Daughters of Cambodia.

Saturday
Apr142012

Update : April 2012 - 1

Greetings from Cambodia!!! :) I'm sitting writing this email in a very pleasant air conditioned coffee shop in Phnom Penh not far away from my 3* hotel.

It is is a city of much beauty, colour, smells, energy and ... divide! I heard the other day that Phnom Penh has one of the highest levels of ownership of 4x4s (SUVs) per capita in the world and yet there is also so much visible poverty all around. The average monthly wage in Cambodia is $60 per month, with many earning a lot less and amazingly, it is often left to the youngest in poor families to earn a wage to support their siblings and parents!

Cambodia - Update 1

I have recently posted a short video to YouTube describing my experience so far since arriving in Cambodia on Wednesday - you can view it here

I have met with the 3 different groups of girls/women that I will be working with over the next 3 weeks - from HagarDaughters of Cambodia & AusCam Freedom Project. I was able to visit them just before they headed back to their home provinces for the Khmer New Year celebrations. I was able to give them each a digital camera through support received from folks back home in the UK. A lot of the girls had never used a camera before, never mind having their very own!! :)

I'm looking forward to seeing their photographs when they return. While here I am also working on creating work for my first solo show (supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland) in the MCAC - the pressure is on!?

Spring/Summer Photo Workshops

When I get back home the plan is to recommence my 1 Day & 1/2 Day Photo workshops. For dates in May, June & July - including my first Belfast based workshop scheduled for Saturday 30th June - check out my website for more info. SPECIAL OFFER - £10 Cash Back on all bookings made before end of April.

Final thoughts... last time I was in Cambodia, back in Nov 2011, I was hugely impressed by the speed and fitness of the local "wee green man" ... check out how he moves to help you avoid getting knocked down! :) 

Thursday
Jan122012

First up, I would like to wish you a very Happy New Year! I'm sure like me you are wondering what all the next 12 months will be filled with??

Some exciting ventures I am planning for/hoping for in 2012 include a return trip to Cambodia, my first solo show in October/November at the MCAC and potentially an exhibition of work from Beautiful Dawn - selected and arranged by a very special guest curator! :)

Return to Cambodia

Following on from my first trip in November last year to carry out initial research and to make contacts, I hope to return in April or May this year. The plan is to teach photography to girls that have been rescued from the sex trade. I hope that this will allow for space and time for relationship and trust to develop. I am keen to experience how useful (and fun) teaching and learning photography might be in this context. More info about my previous visit to Cambodia can be read on my Blog.

New Photography Workshop

On Saturday 24th March I will be running my first ADVANCED 1 Day DSLR Photo Workshop for past participants of previous 1 Day Workshops. This will be an opportunity to refresh and develop what has already been learnt and hopefully act as a focus to work on a personal project before arriving, with opportunity for group critique and encouragement on the day. Get in touch if you are eligible and interested!

Prize Winners

Before Christmas I held a competition on Facebook, ... it gives me great pleasure to announce the winners, who will all receive a mounted photographic print - they are... Andy Wright, Rachel Coote, Dee Haughian, Avril Browne, Dermot McConaghy, Jill McCamley, Karen Poots, Robin Morrision & Brian Taylor - lucky you!!! :)

Final thoughts... I have just moved into a new office in Belfast, sharing with the great guys from Forfey Festival. Also, Debs and I are settling into married life very well!! :) Watch this video of us and our "borrowed" dogs having a great time On Boxing Day at Portstewart Strand.

Wednesday
Dec072011

I'm back from Cambodia!! I had a great time on the trip - the first half being my honeymoon :), the second half spent with a team from Ratanak International finding out about the various projects they support throughout the country. It was both very challenging and very inspiring!

Cambodia & Its Recent History

The legacy of Pol Pot, the Khmer Rouge and the Killing Fields is still very evident in many aspects of contemporary Cambodian society - perhaps, as I began to realise more and more while away, no more so than within the sex industry and prostitution of young girls.

Killing Fields & S-21

During our time in Phnom Penh we spent time at the Killing Fields, located about a 30 minute tuc-tuc journey from the city centre. It was chilling to see bits of bone and teeth and clothing at our feet - we could touch them - a direct link to the people and the awful atrocities that were committed there.

At S-21, the genocide museum, we went into the torture rooms and cells in which almost 21,000 Cambodians were sent, tortured and killed by the Khmer Rouge. Interestingly, each victim was photographed when they arrived at S-21 - often this is the only record that the person ever existed.

Glimmers of Hope

We visited many projects during our time in Phnom Penh seeking to provide help and hope to girls rescued from prostitution. Hope was a theme I wrestled with a lot while away. It was a huge and awful situation, yet there were shinning glimmers of hope visible through transformed lives - young girls who had been in brothels for many years 'servicing' as many as 10 men each night, now living lives and getting help to deal with the past that stood them in good stead for a much better future.

The above image is of a 'rape cubicle' inside a building that once was a brothel but is now a thriving community centre providing health, spiritual, recreational and educational services to the local community.

One example of a project we visited was Bloom Training & Cafe in the heart of the capital. It trains girls rescued from brothels in how to make cupcakes, cookies and probably the best cake I have ever tasted! :)

Other projects we visited included Hagar InternationalDaughters of CambodiaElder Care & NewSong.

Exhibition

The trip was a great opportunity to get to know the country, the culture and to make contacts with those involved in trying to help. The next stage is to go back out again to Cambodia around Easter time next year to make work that will be displayed in the MCAC in Oct/Nov 2012. Before then lots of effort will need to be put into processing the above, planning and raising funds for my return visit. Ideas are bubbling away in my head... looking fwd to how project will resolve... may take a while! ;)

Final thought... just heard that I will be receiving a SIAP Award from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland to help fund project - thank you!!! :)