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Honorable Mention BIFA 2020 People / Culture

Living On Water

  • Photographer
    Steff Gruber
  • Prize
    Honorable Mention in People / Culture

The Tonle Sap Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia. It’s one of the richest inland fishing grounds in the world and home to over one million people. The majority of them live directly on the water in houseboats which create pockets of floating villages throughout this 1,042 sq mile lake in Cambodia. The population that makes a living from fishing or bartering is a mix of ethnic groups all crowd onto the self-built boats and rafts.Today the population are existentially threatened by their government, which intends to close down the villages in the near future and relocate them.

Steff Gruber (1953) is a Swiss photographer and filmmaker. He worked as a press photographer for Keystone Press and was one of the first filmmakers to deal with the docudrama genre. Based on his interest in documentaries, Gruber began shooting photo stories in various countries that focused, in particular, on human interest subjects and humanist concerns. He produced many of his photo series over a period of several years, visiting places and people on repeated occasions. Steff Gruber is a member of the Swiss Association of Journalists and Photographers IMPRESSUM.