Can art create a sense of closure for a wounded nation? Forty years after the brutal Khmer Rouge reign and Cambodian genocide, an international group of artists creates a production of film and Bangsokol music to properly mourn those who died. The production is threatened by clashing egos and a limited budget, but the stakes are too high to let the project fail.
Learn about classical and contemporary dances from Cambodia, their role in Buddhism, and their connections to Cambodian art on view in the Sackler. Members of the Sophiline Arts Ensemble in Phnom Penh demonstrate dances, with discussion facilitated by Emma Stein, Curatorial Fellow for Southeast Asian Art. These performances are presented in conjunction with Encountering the Buddha: Art and Practice across Asia. Lead Sponsor: The Robert H. N. Ho Family Foundation.
One night only at the Pan Asian Repertory Theatre: Cambodian Agonistes is an epic musical theatre production that includes original songs ranging from operatic lyricism to beat café jazz, and a classical Cambodian dream ballet. The play celebrates the Cambodian people’s resilience to survive after the civil war in the 70s.
Limited seating is available. Please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
Q&A with Kavich Neang
Once a thriving artist community and cultural hub, Phnom Penh’s historic White Building has been sold to Japanese condo developers, displacing nearly 500 families. Born and raised in the building, filmmaker Kavich Neang returns to interview friends, neighbors, and family as they prepare to uproot, stirring up the dust and memories that have accumulated in the building’s walls. As longtime residents somberly reflect on their old home and its imminent destruction, summoning memories of Cambodia’s post-independence golden age and of similar evictions during the Khmer Rouge, Neang captures the serene light and music its storied hallways one last time.
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Film Society of Lincoln Center
Is there a point to international justice? Many contend that tribunals deliver not only justice but truth, reconciliation, peace, democratization, and the rule of law. These are the transitional justice ideals frequently invoked in relation to the international hybrid tribunal in Cambodia that is trying senior leaders of the Khmer Rouge regime for genocide and crimes against humanity committed during the mid-to-late 1970s. In this ground-breaking book, The Justice Facade, Alexander Hinton argues these claims are a facade masking what is most critical: the ways in which transitional justice is translated, experienced, and understood in everyday life. Rather than reading the Khmer Rouge Tribunal in the language of global justice and human rights, survivors understand the proceedings in their own terms, including Buddhist beliefs and on-going relationships with the spirits of the dead.
Alexander Hinton is Distinguished Professor of Anthropology and Global Affairs, Director of the Center for the Study of Genocide and Human Rights, and UNESCO Chair on Genocide Prevention at Rutgers University, Newark. He is a past President of the International Association of Genocide Scholars and served as an expert witness at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.
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NYU Wagner's Office of International Programs
NYU's Liberal Studies Program
Moth shows are renowned for the great range of human experience they showcase. Each show starts with a theme, and the storytellers explore it, often in unexpected ways.
The Moth podcast is downloaded more than 50 million times a year, and each week, the Peabody Award-winning Moth Radio Hour is heard on over 480 radio stations worldwide. The Moth’s first book, The Moth: 50 True Stories was a NYT Bestseller.
This memorable evening, to be hosted by Dame Wilburn will feature stories from bestselling author Elizabeth Gilbert, human rights activist and musician Arn Chorn-Pond, Moth GrandSLAM Champion Monte Montepare, and more.
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Hosted by Cambodian Living Arts.
This event marks the conclusion of a five-week Fellowship to the USA for three Cambodian artists. Tan Vatey, Tor Vutha and Hang Sokharo have spent four weeks in residency at Vermont Studio Center, followed by a 10-day program of research and networking in New York City, coordinated by Cambodian Living Arts. During this facilitated conversation, the artists will present the ideas and questions they are taking away from their time in the USA and how they plan to apply these experiences to their work at home in Cambodia. Guests will be encouraged to share questions and reflections with the artists.
This event is free and open to the public.
Hosted by NYSEAN, Asia Society, and Cambodian Living Arts.
Collectively highlights groundbreaking community-based media collectives. Using audio and visual media from the Bophana Center in Cambodia, Maisha Film Lab in East Africa and Vídeonas Aldeias | Video in the Villages in the Brazilian Amazon, participants will discuss their work and its circulation. Joining us are acclaimed directors Rithy Panh, founder of Bophana Center, Vídeo Nas Aldeais’ founder Vincent Carelli, and Mira Nair, who started Maisha with the motto “If we don’t tell our own stories, no one else will.”
Co-presented by the NYU Center for Media, Culture and History, Department of Anthropology
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Filmmaker Rithy Panh explores the lasting effects of the Cambodian genocide through stories of those who have lost their families and have begun searching for their graves. Driven by Panh’s own desire to know the whereabouts of his many murdered loved ones, the film focuses on the spiritual well-being of those affected by the genocide. Graves Without a Namemakes a small but significant step toward rectifying the lack of documentation around the crimes of the Khmer Rouge, petitioning not for vengeance but, rather, for healing.
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Hosted by the American Museum of Natural History.
Since it officially began operations in 2007, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC) has been trying high-level Khmer Rouge leaders on charges, including genocide, regarding the approximately 1.9 million fatalities in Cambodia under the Khmer Rouge. The Court has been at the center of much attention, drawing both praise and criticism from local andinternational observers.Join CGA faculty professors Jennifer Trahan and Chris Ankersen in dialogue with panelists who have been involved in the Court to discuss its legacy and implications for international justice and war crimes prosecutions globally.
Robert Petit, First International Co-Prosecutor for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia
Andrew Cayley, Second International Co-Prosecutor for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia
David J. Scheffer, Former UN Secretary-General Special Expert on UN Assistance to the Khmer Rouge Trials
James A. Goldston, Executive Director, Open Society Justice Initiative
Hosted by NYU-SPS Center for Global Affairs.
Prof. Jorge López Cortina, of the Dept. of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, will discuss the Cham Heritage Extension Program, a literacy project that ran between 2011 and 2017 and saw the first formal attempts to produce literacy materials for the Western Cham language and train instructors as advocates of Cham literacy to the wider community.
Initially envisioned as a small literacy project for a few villages, the program produced six textbooks and language guides, trained more than thirty Cham teachers, and served over 2,400 students. Most importantly, the program has expanded the scope of use of the written Cham language, producing not only textbooks, but children books, books of poetry, and a monthly general interest publication, Mukva, the first ever Cham language periodical. The program also established the Cham Language Advisory Committee, a body that watches over all these initiatives in order to ensure that the process of normalization of the Cham language is steered by the Cham community.
The Cham are a Muslim minority in Cambodia, an overwhelmingly Buddhist country. The Cham language belongs to the Austronesian family, which includes Tagalog, Malay and Hawai’ian, and is unrelated to Khmer, the majority language in Cambodia. Cham is the first Austronesian language documented, with texts going as far back as the 4th century CE. In spite of the rich history and literature of the Cham language, Cham literacy has been in decline for centuries, as Vietnam gained influence in the region and finally annexed the remains of the kingdom of Champa in 1832.
Prof. Jorge López Cortina is currently the director of the Spanish Program at Seton Hall University. Besides his involvement in Cham literacy projects, he has authored several texbooks in Spanish and coauthored the Khmer textbook used by the Peace Corps in Cambodia.
Find registration information here.
Hosted by Seton Hall University
Introduced and co-moderated by Shanny Peer, Columbia Maison Française, and Dean Carol Becker, Columbia University School of the Arts, this conversation will introduce New York audiences to Bangsokol: A Requiem for Cambodia—an extraordinary new composition that fuses music, voice, movement, and visuals. Bangsokol was commissioned by Cambodian Living Arts and is premiering in the US as part of Brooklyn Academy of Music’s 2017 Next Wave Festival to honor the two million victims of the Khmer Rouge regime. It is the first major symphonic work that addresses the traumas of the late 1970s in Cambodia, and the first collaboration between filmmaker Rithy Panh and composer Him Sophy, both survivors of the Khmer Rouge and now at the forefront of Cambodia’s cultural renaissance.
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Cambodia: Looking Back on the Future takes a deeper look at contemporary art in Cambodia, the subtleties and complexities that characterize a fluid present moving between past and future. With a tendency towards personal narratives, the figure has emerged, forming a thread to tie together the complexities of personal histories, social issues, identity, displacement and memory. Curators: Debra Fram and Barbara Richards of the Flinn Gallery and Dana Langlois of JavaArts, Phnom Penh.
The aim of Heng Sreang’s paper is to explore the recent phenomenon of land grab in Cambodia. It seeks to answer two main questions:
1) How was the land grabbed? What makes it possible for the land to be grabbed?
2) How do people resist against the violations? This part will also examine the consequences of their resistance.
This paper is based on data collected from fieldwork interviews with people in different affected communities since 2009. It also bases on documentary data, and personal observations, discussions and exchanges with different scholars and researchers in a number of workshops and conferences on land issues in Cambodia since 2005.
Sek Sophorn, a Phnom Penh-based human rights lawyer with more than a decade of experience working with some of Cambodia’s most marginalized populations, will share his unique perspective on Cambodia’s kleptocratic politics and where the country might be headed with new commune elections on the horizon in 2017 and national elections scheduled for 2018.
During the Khmer Rouge’s brutal reign in Cambodia during the mid-to-late 1970s, a former math teacher named Duch served as the commandant of the S-21 security center, where as many as 20,000 victims were interrogated, tortured, and executed. In 2009 Duch stood trial for these crimes against humanity. While the prosecution painted Duch as evil, his defense lawyers claimed he simply followed orders. This was just one of a number of parallels between the Duch trial at the Khmer Rouge Tribunal and the Eichmann trial. This presentation focuses on arguments in my recent book, Man or Monster? The Trial of a Khmer Rouge Torturer (Duke, 2016). Specifically, I will reconsider Arendt’s notion of the banality of evil in terms of “the banality of everyday thought” and “effacing conviction.”