Adana ម៉ម Legros
Born amidst conflict during the Cambodian coup of 1997, Adana was raised by activist parents fighting human trafficking in Southeast Asia. She spent her childhood surrounded by bodyguards, overwhelmed by death threats and kidnap letters, often having to find refuge in Laos. Growing up with survivors of sexual exploitation made her prematurely aware of some of the most brutal consequences of a despotic genocide, with her family's social work molding her education and pushing Adana to be deeply involved, from the red light district of Phnom Penh to traveling the world and raising awareness in conferences.
Revolting against a perverse system and fed up with its social injustices, she pursued studies in law and political science in France until she was 21 years old when, suddenly, cancer forced her to endure aggressive chemotherapy and a journey of self-reflection. A battle she won, along with the discovery of a newborn talent: art. Her paintings – addressing topics such as consciousness, death, trauma, ethics, and human evolution. After her successful recovery, she landed her debut exhibition in New York followed by thirteen more exhibitions all over the world including Paris, Sydney, Brussels, Bangkok.
Known for her surrealist pictorial work, Adana is more known for her exhibitions combining art with philanthropy. In her recent collaboration with the Director of the National Bank of Cambodia, they made art history in raising $150,000 USD from local donors to donate to NGOs. This event has changed the art philanthropy culture in Cambodia.
Adana is also co-founder and President of Generation C, a socially-driven artistic movement striving for an empathic Cambodia focused on compassion, ethics, and social responsibility. This movement is the culmination of her life's mission, to bring people together towards a convivial society while transforming each individual into a global citizen.
She moderated a panel of discussion organized by the AFD in Cambodia (Agence Française de Development) on the topic of ‘’Gender inequalities within higher education and workplace’’. Discussion with Mrs. Sorya CHAN, Director of Kidora International, Mrs. Dany DOURNG, Director of the Information and Statistics Department for the Wastewater and Sewage Management Department, Mrs. Malika OK, AFD Project Officer in charge of the vocational training, social protection, and tourism projects, and finally Mrs. Thyda THAUNG, Director of the biggest salt company in Kampot-Kep.
For this year's Cultural Festival organized by ASEM (The Asia-Europe Meeting), Adana and five other artists will exhibit their work at The National Museum of Cambodia.
Recently, Adana was shortlisted for Women of the Future Awards South East Asia in the category of Art and Culture. Supported by the Director of the National Bank, The Minister of Women Affairs, and the Secretary-General, Council for the Development of Cambodia (CDC). Moreover, she also has been nominated by the Director of the National bank for other awards such as Asia 21 young leaders and the “The Forum of Young World Leaders” organized by the World Economic Forum.
Pierre Legros is trained as medical scientist at Ecole Pratique des Hautes Etudes (EPHE) of Paris. Early engaged in humanitarian relief operation, he started his carrier in Africa working for Pasteur Center and the French Institut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD). Then engage in Asia with Médecins Sans Frontières and Action Against Hunger.
Having observed the limits of “big” organizations in their action, he co-founded with his ex wife (Somaly Mam) AFESIP Cambodia, an organization fighting sex trafficking (women and children).
Being successful, he opens AFESIP branches in Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, Switzerland, France and Spain. Having scientific concerns and the will to be more efficient in the curb on trafficking, he create a research center “Observatory on trafficking” link to more than 20 international universities and researchers.
He co-founded another organization; Article 4 in Cambodia an France focus on psycho-social reintegration of women in difficult circumstances and implemented psycho-social researches.
Awarded in USA and Europe for his work on women/children issues, he became international consultant for the United Nations and different international organizations. In 2008 he started a new carrier of entrepreneurship creating different private companies in Cambodia.
Late 2000 he went back to France caring for one of his daughter having cancer and started a year training on boat maintenance. He then acquires a boat and cross Mediterranean and Atlantic sea.
Back to Cambodia he became manager of a private medical facility never having forgotten his political & humanitarian activism and motivations. Today he is observing human evolution with unparalleled insight. Driven by a wave of indignation and a desire of revolt, he decided to become actively involved in shaping the future of the global community.