Thursday, September 24, 2020
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Trying Guilt

"The truth is a hard thing to articulate, let alone take responsibility for..." So says Thierry Cruvellier in his book, "The Master of Confessions: The Making of a Khmer Rouge Torturer," a depiction of Kaing Guek Eav—better known by the alias Duch—and a gripping account of Duch’s 2009 trial.

Rebel Heir

“In Indonesia, they taught us three skills,” said Sot Chaya, sitting cross-legged in his monk’s quarters at Wat Samakki Raingsey on the outskirts of Phnom Penh. “Commando, parachuting and guerilla warfare.”

Old Made New

Just across the street from the Sangke River in the heart of Battambang city, a small building of traditional Khmer style stands in the shade of tall trees.

Moving Dirt

From certain angles, Trach Tol looks like any other Cambodian village. There are a handful of brick houses, a tiny pavilion where religious ceremonies are held, and not much else. Gleaming rice paddies stretch out in all directions. Wedding music rumbles in the distance. But turn around, look more closely, and the holes come into focus.

Common Ground

A week ago, a group of artists here celebrated the fourth anniversary of Sammaki, an ambitious community center open to anyone interested in the arts.

Path of Faith

For millennia, as Cambodians embraced new religions, they have also habitually clung on to some of their old beliefs and practices.

Kingdom of Queens

Krin Sopheap says the most difficult part of his transformation into Gaga Rainbow is applying his makeup. “I’m not yet an expert at putting on makeup,” the 22-year-old native of Pursat province admitted. “I only know [how] to do about 50 percent of it.”

Staging Grace

The magic starts from the very first note of traditional music and, during the next 80 minutes, the Khmer classical dancers in the ballet “Pamina Devi” transport the audience into a saga punctuated by conflicts, fierce battles and, also, love.

Breaking Bread

Prom Vichet’s painting entitled “Braised Beef and Bread” depicts a table with barely touched bread, a nearly full bowl of beef stew, a plate of rice paddy herb called “ma’am” and a half-full glass of water: a typical Cambodian breakfast.

Global Show

Circus companies from five countries performing in three Cambodian cities over 10 days. This is what the Tini Tinou International Circus Festival is offering this month starting Thursday in Phnom Penh and ending May 16 in Battambang City.

Moving Tales

The contemporary dancers of Amrita Performing Arts presenting three of their latest works Saturday night have turned daily-life themes into dramatic pieces that appear effortless and are beautiful—as well as being profoundly Cambodian.

Paint This Town

On streets, alleyways and rooftops, look out: Nine street artists have unleashed their paintbrushes and spray cans for the first Cambodia Urban Art Festival, covering walls with art at various sites around the capital.

Women on Canvas

An art exhibition opening in Battambang City on Saturday represents a rare story of women artists. Rare because there still are so few female painters and sculptors in the country, whether Cambodians or foreigners.

The Fall

The day prior to the military victory of the Khmer Rouge—a regime that would claim the lives of a third of the country’s people in less than four years—relative calm remained in central Phnom Penh as final battles were fought on the outskirts of the city.


When Charles Fox began documenting old Cambodian family photographs, his initial aim was to capture the country’s social transition through the lens of these intimate snapshots.

Graphic Novel Depicts the Years Before Zero

A graphic novel by Ing Phousera depicts the events that led to Cambodia being taken over by the Khmer Rouge forces in April 1975—40 years ago this month.

Fashion Forward

In its fourth iteration, Phnom Penh Designers Week considers the theme “Now is the Future,” inviting avant-garde experimentation along with ready-to-wear basics from eight local and international labels.

Lens Romance

The photo exhibition opening Tuesday at the Sofitel hotel in Phnom Penh gives an insight into Cambodia as it appeared to visitors in the late 1920s.

Far From Zion

“I felt like nobody knew there were Jews here in Cambodia. And people might be curious to see pictures of how they were living,” photographer Anna Spelman said of her exhibit, “Our Diaspora: Jewish Migration to Asia.” Showing at Phnom Penh’s Meta House until April 19, the images explore Jewish identity and community in Cambodia, India and Singapore.

A New Hero

In a politically daring new comic book, “Captain Cambodia,” a cartoonist uses a classic comic-book clash of good versus evil to comment on the country's politics.


Latest Headlines

Environmental fears as new Mekong island carved out in Phnom Penh

A major land reclamation in the Mekong has forged ahead in what developers say will be the second Diamond Island. But while land filling elsewhere in the city has been met with unease, this mega-project has taken shape unbothered by current or controversy