Barbara Anello: Photographs of Khmer Sites and Monuments
Barbara J. Anello has contributed approximately 2,700 photographs of Khmer monuments and heritage, as well as current archaeological practice, to the Artstor Digital Library.
This selection of photographs, taken from 2018-2020, depicts not only the monuments and sites, but the work Cambodian archaeologists, architects, and heritage preservation professionals are doing now toward preserving Khmer cultural heritage. The images are informed by Anello’s experience of over 30 years in Southeast Asia. Returning to Cambodia to work in capacity-building with the staff of APSARA (Authority and National Authority of Preah Vihear) under a U.S. State Department program, English Language Fellows (2018-20), Anello had the rare opportunity of extended, on-site involvement in the daily work and research of archaeologists, architects, engineers, stone conservators, and others working at the UNESCO World Heritage monuments in Cambodia. Their collaboration enabled the photographer to compile this extensive collection of documentary shots of structures and sites throughout the country, but mostly in Siem Reap and Preah Vihear provinces. By no means an exhaustive survey of Khmer monuments, it nevertheless records the state and condition of many sites being worked on today. Particularly interesting are the glimpses of restoration and conservation work now being done at Prasat Preah Vihear, a uniquely beautiful temple complex on a mountain top in the rural north; at the ancient capital, Koh Ker; at Prasat Banteay Chhmar in 2008, and again in 2019; and the archaeological work going on at Angkor Park since the pandemic has cut off international tourism. As well as reflecting archaeological and preservation work, the photographs offer glimpses of the life of the thousands of people who live inside these cultural heritage sites and continue to worship at these temples, much as their ancestors have done for almost a millennium.
Artist and art historian Barbara J. Anello has lived and worked in Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Bangladesh, Vietnam, and Morocco since 1985. In America she has worked for Castelli-Feigen-Corcoran and the architectural firm Redroof Design. With a Fulbright in Art History and documentary photography of vernacular architecture (2008), she worked in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Indonesia. Her paintings and photographs of Balinese dancers and musicians illustrate I Wayan Dibia and Rucina Ballinger’s Balinese Dance, Drama and Music (2005). Anello studied painting at Reed College and New York University, and received her M.A. in Art History (Documentary Photography) from Montclair State University (2006). She worked with the United States Peace Corps and the Ministère de l’Artisanat, Delegation de l’Artisanat de Meknes, Small Business Development Program in Ain Leuh, Morocco (2006-2008). In 2008, she was a Senior Fulbright Scholar in the Southeast Asia Regional Research Program in Art History.
Anello’s photography focuses on architecture, both historical and vernacular, and aspects of traditional art and culture. She partnered in nominating sites to the World Monuments Watch 2012 and 2014 (Desa Lingga, Karo, Sumatra; Desa Peceran and Dokan, Sumatra, and Flores, Ngada villages). She is also a contributor to Habitat: Vernacular Architecture For A Changing Planet, 2017.
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