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Michelle Vachon

Feature writer

Capturing the Strange Normalcy of a Capital City Under Siege

British teacher Colin Grafton arrived in Phnom Penh in March 1973 to work at a language school. During the following two years, he would learn to live as any city resident did—in a state of acceptance that the capital was under siege.

Movie Moments: an Exploration of Film Through the Ages

When people talk about their favorite film, they’re likely to point out a moment or scene that was especially memorable, says French photographer Christian Milovanoff, explaining the inspiration behind a project he started on Facebook.

Championing Diversity, Dancers Move to Their Own Stories

The music should be familiar to most in the audience—pop tunes known the world over—but not so for the dance, “Re/Play Dance Edit,” which was choreographed over the past week by Cambodian and Japanese dancers.

Exhibit Reveals Portraits of People at Home in Phnom Penh

In September, German photographer Astrid Schulz set out to capture how people who live and work in Phnom Penh feel about the city they call home.

Private Art Collections Opened Up to Public in New Exhibit

Each one of the paintings going on display at a new exhibition in Phnom Penh tonight was acquired by a Cambodian man or woman out of love: love of the work and regard for the artist, who was also Cambodian.

Children’s Book Recounts Khmer Rouge’s Theft of Childhood

Hok Sothik was 7 years old when the Khmer Rouge seized control of the country in April 1975, he writes in his recently released children’s book, “Sothik.”

Travel Required to See Three-Part ‘Here I Stand in Time’

Three generations of classically-trained Cambodian dancers will premiere the work “Here I Stand in Time” this weekend—performing each segment of the three-part dance at a different outdoor Phnom Penh location.

With Classical Dancer’s Death, Loss of a Cambodian Legend

Yet Sarin, a star dancer of Cambodia’s classical male masked dance lakhaon kaol, died on Saturday at Phnom Penh’s Calmette Hospital after a long illness. He was 91. He had fought hepatitis for a year, his wife Bin Van, 50, said on Monday.

‘Turn Left Turn Right’ Takes You on a Cambodian Road Trip

“Turn Left Turn Right,” a feature film that’s part-road trip, part-personal discovery, refused to be told with a customary storyline. So American director Douglas Seok started thinking of it as a concept album with stand-alone tracks that formed a whole when combined.

Film Shows Artist’s Quest to Depict Pain of Regime’s Victims

The film “Waxing Moon,” set to be shown tonight and over the next few weeks in Phnom Penh, starts on a black screen with a man’s voice saying, “To me, this is a beginning.”

Artist Illustrates Capital’s Blend of Modern, Traditional Life

In Frederikke Tu’s painting “Khmer Princess,” a girl in a fuchsia dress with a large white belt sits on a stool against a black background, peeling an onion with great care.


A foreign journalist and aid workers recall a ‘country in shock’ when they began their lives in Cambodia during the 1980s

After Global Success, Sopheap Pich Opens Local Exhibition

The golden artwork that nearly fills the back wall of the Institut Francais’ gallery is a vast abstract spread over a fine bamboo grid, creating a landscape with a thousand facets.

Local, International Art on Display in Siem Reap

Cambodian and international artists will be featured in an exhibition, “The Arts of Music and Dance,” opening on Friday night in Siem Reap City.

Deforestation During Angkor: Looking for Trees in the Dirt

Their motivation may not have been to support a sprawling political patronage network, but when the Khmer dominated the region about 1,000 years or so ago, one necessity of maintaining their empire was steady deforestation.

French Psychoanalyst Draws Up Mental-Health Profile of Pol Pot

In every human being, there must be a degree of believing in oneself in order to succeed in life, but in some revolutionaries, such as Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot, an excessive amount of self-love stripped them of their humanity, according to French psychoanalyst Jean Artarit.

Dig Unearths Ancient Furnace in Hunt for Cambodia’s Past

A team of Cambodian and international scientists has uncovered the first Angkorian-era iron smelter ever to be found virtually intact. On the second day of a three-week excavation in Preah Vihear province, the archaeologists unearthed what they had spotted during previous surveys in Rovieng district near Phnom Dek mountain: a furnace used a millennium ago to extract iron from ore.

Ambitious Arts Trial Seeks to Spark Cambodia’s Creativity

A five-year pilot program is being created to integrate arts and culture into public schools throughout the country, and may help Cambodians develop a better understanding of their roots and the creative ability to take on global challenges.

Celebrating Forced Marriages That Blossomed, Through Ballet

Like any flower, the phka sla grows, blossoms, then eventually withers and dies. But as a central feature of Cambodian weddings—handed from the groom to the bride as their journey begins—its symbolism can remain alive long after its petals have fallen.

Latest Headlines

Gold mining suspected as cause of Cambodian mass poisonings

A spate of mass toxic poisonings in the Cambodian provinces of Kratie and Mondulkiri have hospitalized hundreds and killed at least 16 people since May.

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