Snit Snaal is an exhibition that is intended to be enjoyed by everyday Cambodians, in particular the residents of the White Building themselves. The works are all new, created by twenty young art students and community organisers from the neighbourhood. They look at issues in the White Building community, as well as in their own homes elsewhere in Phnom Penh, and also in the city more broadly.
Snit Snaal means lovable, friendly, and close; to snit with someone is to love wholeheartedly and trust completely. This is an experience that is shared amongst the students, and Snit Snaal as an exhibition title was proposed by them. The first time they came in to the White Building, many of these students felt fear and discomfort. Yet as they have spent time and made contact with people in the neighbourhood, the students have discovered it is a community of creative, kind, dynamic and resilient people.
Snit Snaal was produced largely using materials that are available and familiar in the neighbourhood, thus hoping to inspire local residents to continue to make and show creative works in their own community. Ten televisions were loaned by neighbours for the exhibition, and several other video works will be shown on televisions located within nearby apartments. Snit Snaal is therefore an exhibition held across a number of spaces: within Sa Sa Art Projects, as well as the AZIZA (Empowering Youth in Cambodia) school, and within various homes throughout the White Building. Snit Snaal is a view into the lives of participants’ communities.
The exhibition has been collaboratively shaped by the twenty students and community organisers involved, as well as the AZIZA school, several other individuals and Sa Sa Art Projects. Presented as part of the Cambodian Youth Arts Festival 2012, Snit Snaal invites the public to come in and learn about the diverse, complex and creative community of the White Building, and hopes to build a friendly and close snit snaal experience with the audience.