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Ray-of-Hope Photography

The Mathieu Young 'Cambodia by Moonlight' Series is Immensely Powerful

— August 16, 2011 — World
The Mathieu Young 'Cambodia by Moonlight' photo series is an incredibly powerful photo essay that creates intense moments while educating audiences about the struggles of a developing nation. The photos tell the story of the MOONLIGHT, a solar powered lantern designed to aid in tasks like cooking, eating and reading, and replace the typically dangerous kerosene lamps that have been in place for some time.

Built and designed in collaboration with the rural Cambodians who make use of it, the lamp was first adopted for everyday use in villages around Kandal Province, where Young's photos were so artfully taken. Rental of these multi-purpose lamps costs a mere $.08/day and drastically improves the lifestyles of its users, seeing as over 70% of the country has no access to the power grid. This is not the first photo essay which the talented and socially minded Young has shot in Cambodia, and other locations of choice include California, New Orleans and East Africa.

Implications - While art is most often recognized for its portrayal of raw and familiar emotion, another central purpose is the portrayal of the unfamiliar. A photographer or artist with the capacity to tell intriguing stories connects to viewers with a lust for expanding their worldview through alternative and interesting lenses.
Trend Themes
1. Solar-powered Technologies in Developing Nations - The MOONLIGHT project serves as a model for other solar-powered technologies that can be implemented in developing nations, providing disruptive innovation in the energy sector.
2. Photojournalism for Social Awareness - The Mathieu Young 'Cambodia by Moonlight' photo essay showcases the potential of photojournalism to create social awareness, with similar projects holding potential in various industries.
3. Community Collaboration for Innovation - The design collaboration between rural Cambodians and designers serves as a model for community collaborations that can lead to disruptive innovation in various industries.
Industry Implications
1. Renewable Energy - The MOONLIGHT project highlights opportunities for disruptive innovation in the renewable energy sector in developing nations.
2. Media and Photography - The Mathieu Young 'Cambodia by Moonlight' photo essay highlights the potential for photojournalism to create social awareness and could be useful for media and photography industries.
3. Design and Social Innovation - The collaboration between rural Cambodians and designers in the creation of the MOONLIGHT project underlines the impact of community collaboration on innovation in the fields of design and social innovation.
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