“Making travel diaries was a kid’s dream! Going out to explore the world by observing past lives, imagining future worlds, taking one’s time to sit down, contemplate, look, detail a landscape, a culture, trying to change glasses, to see differently, to learn, to understand the human, to know yourself too…especially…a lot ! Drawing helps not to forget, for the memories, for remember, for tell, for dream. It nourishes of authenticity, of depth, of sensitivity, of truth.“
Arrival in Cambodia from Raphaël SEYFRIED
Asia, and Cambodia more precisely, was supposed to be just a stop in what was called a world tour where absolutely was planned! After traveling through several countries, it is alone and without money that one day of October 2015. I woke up in a somewhat filthy inn in the south of the country, with a seedy mattress and a monsoon wet smell… where you never know if it’s you sweating or if it’s the sheets that are just wet!
The few savings i had forced me to make a difficult decision :
- Going back to Europe and forget about my dreams of adventure, being no longer able to draw on my travel diaries…
- Or take the risk to spend the last few dollars in that “child dream” !
Cambodia is one of the countries where opportunities seem to be more accessible. A lot remains to be done, which is one of the reasons why I told myself: “If it’s not here, it won’t be anywhere!”
Through drawings and writing, where graphic arts, journalistic reporting and human sciences cross each other : the travel diary is the story of an adventure. He represent a hybrid art that can bring together views from different horizons.
Before I arrived in Asia, I had already decided that drawing on paper rolls would better suit to the approach of culture rather than using sketchbooks. Turning those pages kind of cut off the overall reading. After all, the scroll is nothing more than the ancestor of the book: the volumen!
Creation of travel roll
Then it has been a few weeks, struggling to find the printer able to reproduce 15 cm x 150 cm rolls for me. Finally, at the end of 2015, “Travel Roll” was created. I moved to the night market in Siem Reap around Christmas of the same year. For $5 a day you have the right to sell your products to the public. That same evening I sold all my stock about 1st edition. Directly, I went to eat only things that had become way too rare in my stomach!
Today, the rolls are sold in different places in Cambodia and on the Internet. Thanks to the people enjoying my rolls and offering them. I can now live “from a childhood dream” but above all contribute to my final project of publishing in French, Khmer and English in order to be available to children in Cambodian’s schools.
At the beginning the experience was just a life test. The time to restore financial health and then we will see what happens next. Finally, I have been here for some time now and several different editions of travel diaries in the form of rolls have been released. I try to illustrate this country “in-situ”, by going out of the beaten track as much as possible. I’m riding around the country on my old 1993 Honda Baja 250cc bike to “go see”. It’s been few thousand kilometers now, sometimes with issues, accidents, tiredness, but nothing too bad !
Cambodia has given me a lot humanly and inner. I am simply happy to have found a form of freedom here, and in a way, participate in my own scale, to the “country’s culture” through art. I try to share a view of this country that is neither arrogant, condescending, self-centered, nor pretentious. If I can live from that while making people happy, then why not!
17-19 Nov. 2017 : “Les rendez- vous du carnet de voyage” – Clermont-Ferrand – 18ème Ed. – 15’000 visitors. The biggest festival of its kind in the world, winning 2nd place for the public price.