An Investigation of Western Influence in Billboards and Posters Produced by Non-Commercial Organisations Operating in Cambodia

By Willem Paling.

Published by The Sustainability Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Provincial centres and crossroads in Cambodia are replete with large billboards promoting everything from condom use to mosquito nets to road safety. In provincial hospitals, offices and the houses of local leaders the walls are adorned with posters with messages such as the importance of vaccinations, proper voter registration procedure and telling people to register their children with the authorities. While there is the occasional commercial billboard, the vast majority of these billboards and posters are produced by non-commercial organisations.
The majority of non-commercial organisations have some western affiliation whether it be western advisors, western funding sources or Khmer staff with a western education. It is to be expected that these western affiliations would be evident as some form of western influence in these posters and billboards.
The promotion of western ideologies such as democracy and rule of law is generally intentional. However there exists in many cases, presumably unintended western influence over and above the promotion of western ideologies. This is of particular importance for NGOs, whose charters generally include the protection of indigenous culture.
This paper examines a number of visual elements and themes, through which western influence is included in posters and billboards produced by non-commercial organisations in Cambodia.

Keywords: Cambodia, Design, Visual Communications, Western Influence, Advocacy

The International Journal of Environmental, Cultural, Economic and Social Sustainability, Volume 3, Issue 3, pp.153-162. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.630MB).

Willem Paling

University of Technology, NSW, Sydney, Australia


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