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Cambodia and the Western Fabrication of History

Andrev Vltchek offers a different perspective on Cambodia's Khmer Rouge period There is actually only one thing that I want to know: how Communist was the Khmer Rouge, and was it the ideology, the Marxist ideology, that drew farmers to the ranks of the movement? San Reoung thinks for a while, then replies, weighing each word: “It was really not about the ideology… We did not know much about it. I was, for instance, very angry with the Americans. I became a soldier at the age of 17. And my friends were very angry, too. They joined Khmer Rouge to fight Americans, and especially the corruption of their puppet dictator Lon Nol, in Phnom Penh.”
posted by Vibrissae on Aug 7, 2014 - 37 comments

Iron square = :| but Iron fish = (ツ)

The Good-Luck Charm That Solved a Public-Health Problem ¸.·´¯`·.´¯`·.¸¸.·´¯`·.¸><(((º> [more inside]
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome on Aug 3, 2014 - 44 comments

Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation

7 countries' attempts to grapple with their troubled pasts, and move beyond them.
posted by smoke on Jul 5, 2014 - 3 comments

Armchair Travel to Vietnam and Cambodia

Rusty Compass is a travel website that focuses on Vietnam and Cambodia. It is the work of one man, Australian Mark Bowyer, who has lived in Vietnam since 1993. There are the usual reviews of hotels, restaurants and tourist sites, travel tips and advice, but what makes it really special are videos and blog posts about local people and events, fascinating stories told with charm. [more inside]
posted by maggiemaggie on Jul 4, 2014 - 2 comments

The Hidden Paintings of Angkor Wat

Hidden Paintings Revealed at Ancient Temple of Angkor Wat. "New, digitally enhanced images reveal detailed murals at Angkor Wat showing elephants, deities, boats, orchestral ensembles and people riding horses — all invisible to the naked eye." [Via]
posted by homunculus on May 29, 2014 - 7 comments

the Cambodians who stitch your clothing keep fainting in droves

It should have been an extraordinary scene: more than 100 factory hands fainting in unison as if possessed by spirits.

But in Cambodian garment factories (pdf, graphic violence depicted), which play a major role in supplying American malls, mass fainting is no longer a freak phenomenon. It’s disturbingly common.
posted by and they trembled before her fury on Apr 28, 2014 - 34 comments

Sex-trafficking, fraud and money at the Somaly Mam Foundation

Cambodia Daily just ran two controversial features on Somaly Mam, a well-known trafficking survivor and head of the anti-trafficking non-profit, the Somaly Mam Foundation that funds shelters in Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam. Somaly Mam, Cambodia's most well-known anti-trafficking activist, partly due to Nicholas Kristof whose "live tweeting" a brothel raid with Somaly Mam was roundly criticised by other NGOs in Cambodia, is accused of false stories of abuse, murder and kidnapping of young women, and the organization of hugely over-paying top staff including Somaly Mam herself. [more inside]
posted by syncope on Oct 16, 2013 - 7 comments

Bow. String. Gourd. Bliss.

You think you need more than one string to make some totally captivating, subtly expressive and utterly soulful music? Well, you wrong!
posted by flapjax at midnite on Jul 5, 2013 - 42 comments

Keep the LiDAR on it

In a Sydney Morning Herald exclusive, an international team of archeologists have revealed the discovery of a hitherto unknown city in Cambodia.
Dr Evans, director of the University of Sydney's archaeological research centre in Cambodia, said the ''eureka moment'' in the discovery came weeks earlier when the lidar data popped up on a computer screen. ''With this instrument - bang - all of a sudden we saw an immediate picture of an entire city that no one knew existed which is just remarkable,'' he said.
Mahendraparvata, as the city is known, is estimated to be 350 years older than the UNESCO Heritage site of Angkor Wat, built on on Phnom Kulen before Jayavarman II descended from the mountain to build another capital. As Dr Evans said ''This is where it all began, giving rise to the Angkor civilisation that everyone associates with Angkor Wat." The news comes on the heels of the recent repatriation of looted archeological treasures back to Cambodia by the New York Metropolitan museum.
posted by infini on Jun 16, 2013 - 16 comments

Cambodian Trees

Cambodian Trees by Clément Briend. "La culture cambodgienne est habitée par une spiritualité qui crée une conscience du monde peuplée de génies et d’esprits. Dans le paysage d'une ville endormie, la nuit fait apparaître ces figures divines sur les arbres, permettant ainsi leur incarnation. Par ces projections nocturnes, nous pouvons alors toucher la magie qui illumine leur regard sur le monde." [Via]
posted by homunculus on Nov 16, 2012 - 6 comments

He’s documenting history, one Asian movie theater at a time

Three years ago, Phil Jablon (aka The Projectionist) started a concerted effort to start documenting the rapidly-vanishing stand-alone movie theaters and former theaters in Southeast Asia. Today his website, The Southeast Asia Movie Theater Project is a historian and movie-theater lover's dream. Jablon has captured the faded, the lost, the torched, the almost lost, the repurposed, the reborn, and the unbounded. [more inside]
posted by blueberry on Jul 1, 2012 - 6 comments

loading up dream-catchers with wild and beautiful dreams for a lucky trucker

Dengue Fever is an L.A. band that fuses Cambodian pop music with psychedelic rock. They have a youtube channel where you can find highlights such as a live acoustic version of their song Uku as well as a clip from the 2007 documentary Sleepwalking Through The Mekong. NPR has an interview with them in 2008 and a review of their second album Escape From Dragon House. Peter Gabriel is a fan.
posted by mannequito on Jan 26, 2012 - 29 comments

Kimchi in Cambodia

The small village of Siem Reap, Cambodia has mushroomed since the 19th century French discovery of Angkor Wat. It is now Southeast Asia's most visited tourist destination, notably among South Koreans. In 2010, they accounted for 12% of foreign visitors to the region, ranking just below neighboring Vietnam. But the sprawling temples of Angkor may not be the first stop on every South Korean's itinerary.
On the frosty Korean Peninsula, relations between North and South are perennially tense. But here amid the balmy breezes of this Cambodian tourist town, Koreans from both sides of the border are enthusiastically fraternizing at the North Korean restaurant as if reunification were just days away [NYT].
[more inside]
posted by obscurator on Jan 19, 2012 - 11 comments

The Killer

The Killer. A notgame about the killing fields of Cambodia. [Via]
posted by homunculus on Jun 1, 2011 - 43 comments

Vanguard of American Journalism

Current TV previously & previously, the media company founded by Al Gore after the 2000 election, has picked up the kinds of in depth long form journalism being rapidly dropped by major networks, but has been tantalizingly unavailable for those without cable; until now. They have been putting their Vanguard episodes up on their website and on YouTube. [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Apr 30, 2011 - 24 comments

Holy Fools

Sou Ootsuki has recently posted a new version of his wildly popular video* for Nujabes'* "Luv(sic) Pt.2". This time, rather than the streets of Japan, he filmed it in the villages of Cambodia. The result is similar, yet very, very different.
posted by Toekneesan on Feb 10, 2011 - 7 comments

Back to the Jungle

Rochom P'ngieng, the feral "Cambodian Jungle Girl" who went missing in 1989 at the age of 8, and made news some three years ago (previously) when she surfaced after almost 20 years alone in the jungle, has fled back into the wild (according to news reports).
posted by HP LaserJet P10006 on May 29, 2010 - 17 comments

Field of Schemes?

Joeurt Puk (aka Joe Cook) is the father of Cambodian baseball. In this feature by ESPN, Patrick Hruby looks into Cook's background and finds that Cook may not be the tireless philanthropist he claims to be. [more inside]
posted by reenum on May 19, 2010 - 6 comments

“He took an umbrella to fight me”

For those of you who haven't been following the ongoing saga of Cambodia's Biting Monk, the Department of Cults and Religious Affairs failed to find sufficient evidence to defrock him and passed the matter on to the monk management board. After two weeks of silence, the accused monk denied the charges. However, there are those who claim the the monk is protected by his fearsome street rep.
posted by ActingTheGoat on Oct 3, 2009 - 26 comments

The Mine Whisperer.

As a child soldier in Cambodia's notorious Khmer Rouge army Aki Ra laid many landmines. He now clears these deadly bombs with a stick and a pocketknife, more than 10,000 to date. It is very dangerous. No one pays him to do it. Aki is the real deal.
posted by lazaruslong on Sep 13, 2009 - 64 comments

Defending the Indefensible

Jacques Vergès has defended Milosevic, Carlos The Jackal, Saddam Hussein and nazi Klaus Barbie (you know, with with the one with the museum) in court. What kind person does it take to do that, and why? [more inside]
posted by smoke on Aug 30, 2009 - 29 comments

Translated for Courage

“I have seen many Anne Franks in Cambodia....Under Pol Pot, many children were separated from their families. They faced starvation and were sent to the front to fight and die,” she explains. “Like Anna, they never knew peace and the warmth of a home.” Translated by Sayana Ser with help from the Dutch embassy in Cambodia (Kampuchea, Khmer), The Diary of Anne Frank has now become one of the most popular and discussed books in this war-torn country.
posted by parmanparman on Oct 7, 2008 - 7 comments

Dith Pran, RIP

Dith Pran, the photojournalist whose story inspired the film The Killing Fields, has died.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Mar 30, 2008 - 37 comments

The Sound of Cambodia, pre-Khmer Rouge.

The 1960's and early 70's saw an explosion of creativity and an astonishing variety of stylistic influences coming together in the pop and rock music of Cambodia.Tragically, almost all of the artists of that era were executed (or otherwise perished) during the nightmarish Khmer Rouge years. The following MySpace Music pages will help you to get acquainted with some of the wonderfully eclectic and adventurous music of this fertile period: Pen Ron, Yos Olarang, Rous Sareysothea, Sin Sisamouth, Vor Sarun, Houey Meas, So Savoeun, Eng Nary, In Yeng, Choun Malai, Mao Sareth, Sem Touch, Chea Savoeun, Toche Teng, Teth Sombath, Pen Rom, Em Songserm and Choun Vanna. Also, these related pages: Cambodian Rock, Radio Khmer Sitya, Cambodian Style and Cambodian Soundtracks. NOTE: For personal recommendations, check the hover-overs accompanying each link.
posted by flapjax at midnite on Dec 15, 2007 - 38 comments

Grave Robbers of Indochina

Mass Grave Ghosts [NY Times BugMeNot]
posted by trinarian on May 20, 2007 - 30 comments

Cluster Bombs, landmines and bombhunters

While the world debates the use of cluster bombs due to their impact on civilians in post conflict areas, today is also Landmine Awareness Day in Cambodia. Some ignore the warnings and seek out the landmines to defuse and sell... while others seek a much larger quarry (Youtube)
posted by james_cpi on Feb 24, 2007 - 16 comments

They say you can buy anything in Cambodia... and NYC.

The modern slave trade is thriving. The Dept of State estimates that 800,000 to 900,000 human beings are trafficked - brought across borders and forced to labor. Among them, DOS estimates, hundreds of thousands are minor children. Some of those children - as young as 5 years old - are being sold as slaves and kept in cages while they are raped and sold for sex, some servicing as many as 30 men a day. They are bought for as little as $10 from desperate parents. But all is not lost: Somaly Mam, a former child prostitute, is the Mother Theresa of Southeast Asian child prostitutes, using AFESIP as her vehicle for saving them. Glamour awarded her their Woman of the Year honor, and she has been lauded in other ways internationally. Cambodian sex traffickers weren't as happy with her, though - her opponents kidnapped her 14-year old daughter, held her hostage for days, and raped her. It's hard to be on the wrong side of this issue, but some advocates raise a few hackles by claiming legalized prostitution and porn contribute to sex trafficking and child prostitution. Sex trafficking, and child prostitution, is a sizeable problem in the US as well. Although trafficking is illegal in the US, combating trafficking is tough in part because victims often fear authorities, personal reprisals, harm to their families at home, or even deportation (although special visas - T visas - are available to them in certain circumstances). In Southeast Asia (and throughout the world), child sex tourism is even harder to stop.
posted by Amizu on Jan 24, 2007 - 41 comments

Khmer Rocks

Ros Sereysothea and Sinn Sisamouth were two of the more famous Cambodian musicians creating amazingly inspired music in the 60s and early 70s that fused Khmer with western rock. They were both killed by the Khmer Rouge; but not before leaving a powerful legacy that has inspired a short film about Sereysothea, a documentary and a band. They are still loved in Cambodia.
posted by PHINC on Jan 23, 2007 - 7 comments

Now You Can Go Where People Are One

Tuol Sleng: 114 photographs taken by the Khmer Rouge at Pol Pot's secret prison, code-named "S-21" in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. When the Vietnamese invaded in 1979, the S-21 prison staff fled, leaving behind thousands of written records and photographs.
posted by fandango_matt on Dec 24, 2006 - 26 comments

How Hanuman Fell In Love and other stories.

Robam Apsara: The dance of celestial nymphs, classical Khmer dance is the single greatest link between the ancient Angkor civilization and contemporary times. Reputed to follow the ancient percepts laid down in the Natya Sastra, Khmer dance is sensual but spiritual, time-less and yet, so very reconstructivist (all YouTube videos). It is such a delight to watch that a single performance will keep you enthralled for months. Extremely saddening, then, when you realize that it survived only by the barest of history's strands. more inside
posted by the cydonian on Aug 3, 2006 - 10 comments

Crime in Cambodia

Crime and violence are everyday happenings in Cambodia. The Cambodian media thrives on it. But is it just everyday violence or something deeper?
posted by Xurando on Feb 8, 2006 - 18 comments

Asian progressive music from the 60s and 70s

60s/70s psych, crossover, beat, and a go-go from Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Burma, Cambodia and Vietnam with band/music scene histories, streaming audio, cover art, etc. Part of a large site devoted to 60s/70s progressive music around the world.
posted by carter on Dec 8, 2005 - 15 comments

a quincunx of towers

Angkor Wat guide. "Published in 1944 in Saigon, republished in 1948 and again in Paris in 1963, The Monuments of the Angkor Group by Maurice Glaize remains the most comprehensive of the guidebooks and the most easily accessible to a wide public, dedicated to one of the most fabled architectural ensembles in the world." Now online, updated, with maps and photos. (More Angkor Wat links in this previous post.) Via Plep.
posted by languagehat on Nov 14, 2005 - 12 comments

Angelina Jolie: Cambodian

Angelina Jolie: Cambodian. Has anyone else noticed that the press doesn't really know what to make of her lately, if ever. I mean, she broke up Brad and Jen! But she does good work for humanity! But she's crazy and seems like she may have had sex with her brother! But she's a good actress! Who makes bad movies! Well, apparently Cambodia wants her. Cambodia and every 16-year-old boy on the planet, as well as most of the girls.
posted by maxsparber on Aug 12, 2005 - 61 comments

The last US battle in Southeast Asia

Thirty years ago today, on May 12, 1975, less than two weeks after the fall of Saigon, the U.S. flagged container ship Mayaguez was seized by the Cambodian Khmer Rouge who took the crew hostage. Late that night the ship was located, anchored off a tiny island called Koh Tang in the Gulf of Siam. U.S. President Gerald Ford ordered the aircraft carrier USS Coral Sea, the guided missile destroyer USS Henry B. Wilson and the frigate USS Holt to the area of seizure. He also ordered a battalion of Marines to assault the island and rescue the crew. The rescue was bungled. 41 US servicemen were killed. The crew of 39 was released.
posted by three blind mice on May 12, 2005 - 12 comments

...for sale or rent

A year ago, NYT reporter Nicholas Kristof purchased two Cambodian prostitutes (discussed here). Today, he's published an update, along with a multimedia presentation about the girls' lives.
posted by mudpuppie on Jan 19, 2005 - 19 comments

Pol Pot's Dead?

25 years in a non-existant war In 1979, a Khmer Rouge guerrilla fled to the hills of Cambodia when his village was attacked by Vietnamese troops. He and a small group of friends and family lived in the dense forests for 25 years, emerging in 2004 to discover that the war was over and that Pol Pot was dead. They had been fearful of any human contact, believing everyone to be the enemy.
posted by BradNelson on Dec 8, 2004 - 17 comments

Angkor

Water woes, not wars, ended Angkor's empire, according to the Greater Angkor Project. Ecological failure and infrastructure breakdown brought down Cambodia's great city and Hindu civilization.
posted by homunculus on Jun 9, 2004 - 7 comments

One more voice of reason

King of Cambodia supports gay marriage, says that transvestites should be accepted by society
And here I was thinking that old patriarchs were conservative. Cambodia apparently is quite conservative when it comes to GLBT issues, but I wonder if this will change, especially as the king is well loved?
posted by tomcosgrave on Feb 20, 2004 - 16 comments

Southeast Asian Monuments: A Selection of 100 Slides

Southeast Asian Monuments: A Selection of 100 Slides. ''100 slides of monuments in Mainland Southeast Asia ( Burma, Thailand,Cambodia, Vietnam, selected from the collection of Marijke J. Klokke, are presented here ... '
posted by plep on Feb 7, 2004 - 2 comments

Cellphone or freedom?

Buying prostitutes. Nicholas Kristof (of the NY Times; reg. req.) bought the freedom of two young Cambodian prostitutes in order to return them to their villages... but it wasn't as simple as you might think. It's easy to be cynical (yes, he's using it as grist for columns; yes, it's a drop in the bucket), but isn't it better than doing nothing? Anyway, it's a fascinatingly messy story. (He discusses why he picked these particular girls, and addresses some of the moral issues, here—scroll down to January 20.)
posted by languagehat on Jan 21, 2004 - 22 comments

Artserve

Welcome to ArtServe: Art & Architecture mainly from the Mediterranean Basin and Japan.
posted by hama7 on Nov 29, 2003 - 7 comments

90 Days in Cambodia

90 Days in Cambodia as a travel writer and election observer.
Related :- Cambodia in Modern History: Beauty and Darkness focuses on the Khmer Rouge period, and also has a nice section on Cambodian art.
posted by plep on Mar 23, 2003 - 2 comments

Cambodian police urge Glitter to leave.

Cambodian police urge Glitter to leave. Not even Cambodia wants anything to do with Gary.
posted by Leonard on May 5, 2002 - 10 comments

Cambodia's Army of Peace

The work of Cambodia's Army of Peace is known throughout the world, and a Southeast Asian Peace Army or Shanti Sena is in the works for 2002. Gandhi called for a Shanti Sena for national defense in 1942. Because the Japanese did not invade, India has used a "Shanti Sena" for combatting riots rather than homelands defense. (The Rainbow Gathering also calls its security people "Shanti Sena, or the Peace Army.") A short history of grassroots initiatives in unarmed peacekeeping from 1932 to the Present" shows that many of the Peace Army initiatives preceded Gandhi. Narayan Desai is one of Gandhi's successors. Californian Sanderson Beck offers comprehensive links to religion, non-violence, and peace movements. Peace Brigades International is known for its work in the Balkans, Colombia, Indonesia and the Middle East. Working directly on terrorism, as well as war, is the Sarovodaya Movement of Sri Lanka. Prize for the most highly focused "Peace Army" goes to the North Koreans. Governments always come up with money for soldiers, but they don't hire unarmed, non-violent peacekeepers. Howcome?
posted by sheauga on Mar 2, 2002 - 7 comments

Cambodians Lead Social Evolution Through Tactical Weapons.

Cambodians Lead Social Evolution Through Tactical Weapons.
Phnom Penh, a shining city on the hill of cultural evolution.
posted by basilwhite on Dec 26, 2001 - 10 comments

The Harvard Crimson

The Harvard Crimson contracts Cambodian sweatshop labor to make its online archives and saves $450,000. Is that the living wage they editorialized for?
posted by benjamin on Jul 24, 2001 - 21 comments

Animals thought extinct found in remote Cambodian jungle:

Animals thought extinct found in remote Cambodian jungle: British scientists have found a wilderness in the Cardamom region of Cambodia where exotic species, some though to be extinct, have been found. These include the Siamese crocodile, the wolf snake (a new species so named because of its dog-like fangs), large populations of tigers and Asian elephants, and the gower, a forest cow. Ironically, the habitat was protected from significant human intrusion because it was a longtime Khmer Rouge stronghold and also because routes lead to and from it are landmined.
posted by jhiggy on Oct 5, 2000 - 6 comments

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