Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Antoine Raab | The Khmer Boxers

Photo © Antoine Raab-All Rights Reserved

Here's a special feature showcasing 22 portraits of Khmer boxers, ranging from 7 years old to 35, photographed by Antoine Raab a few minuted after their bouts. The series was photographed in Phnom Penh and in Battambang, in the spring of 2012.

The Cambodian boxing is called Pradal Serey, which essentially is kick boxing, and has nearly the same rules and style as Muay Thai. It's the national sport, and the Cambodian  national television networks features professional fights weekly.

Most  Cambodian boxers (known as Neak Pradal) are of a poor background, and compete to earn money to feed their families and themselves. Originally, the boxers were paid by the audience. If the crowds appreciated the boxer's efforts, they would reward them with money, food and alcohol. Nowadays, most boxers are paid in cash; from the equivalent of $25 to $100 and more per bout for each boxer.

Antoine Raab is a French photographer, currently based in Phnom Penh. He studied
photography in Paris, and has been an independent photographer for ten years. His work
has been published in several French magazines, notably in the daily newspaper Le Monde.
He also pursues his personal projects—particularly in documenting the current generation of young Cambodians.