Scene spirit: the new punk uprising in Cambodia

A special look at how a punk and metal scene has risen from the ashes of the country’s dark past.

In order to fully understand and appreciate Cambodia’s new rock scene, it’s necessary to understand a little of the country’s war-torn and poverty-stricken history. Through genocides, civil wars, foreign occupations, uprisings, corruption, disease and poverty, the resilient and proud Khmer people have managed to survive and rebuild Cambodia. Following the Cambodian genocide, in which three million were killed by their own government between 1975 and ’79, 68 per cent of the population are now under 30 years old. The horrors in the country over the past century quashed any potential for an alternative music scene.

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