Cambodia's social media war

Oh ... Howling Dog

Cycle of Life

Tararith Kho is one of Cambodia’s most influential young literary profiles. Full of initiative he started the magazine Nou Hach Literary Journal, which he later abandoned after experiences of threat. He is also one of the initiators of the Cambodian branch of PEN. The text published here is an extract from a longer piece of work.

Balancing act

There is a widespread misunderstanding that Cambodia does not have any serious-minded literature. According to Teri Yamada, professor of Asian studies, it is instead the infrastructure of publication and distribution that is lacking. The main problem though, he says, is that a writer who dares to critique the social and political status quo risks dire consequences.

Pippi Longstocking in Cambodia

The Swedish writer Astrid Lindgren’s character Pippi Longstocking has in Cambodia become a feminist role model for women of all ages. The publisher Huot Socheta eagerly awaits the effects Pippi might have on the next generation of young Cambodian girls. 

Trees of Life

The indigenous people of Cambodia still live in close proximity to the tropical rainforests so vital for humanity at large, but which are now speedily being cut down. According to Alexandra Kent, docent of social anthropology, the government’s attempts to strengthen the indigenous people’s rights by introducing communal land ownership has proven a complicated and indiscriminate process.

Morning glory

“They took men and women out to the killing fields in separate groups, at different times, to have them killed. She is the only survivor from one of these occasions. She says that she was part of a woman’s group of twenty-five and all were raped – the one after the other – before they were shot.”

A nation built on the rule of song

The great era of national anthems is over but anthems can still narrate a nation’s history. David Chandler, writer and professor emeritus at Monash University, allows the anthems of Cambodia to paint a picture of the country’s violent and turbulent 20th century.

Fight for free speech finds new avenues

The regime in Cambodia almost completely controls traditional media. Free radio stations and social media have instead become important arenas for opinion forming. Jens Rosbäck has long been engaged in democracy issues in Cambodia and here he writes about the status of free speech in Cambodia prior to the upcoming elections. 

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