Search

Search form

Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Contest calls for songs about Khmer Rouge experiences

Contest calls for songs about Khmer Rouge experiences

Contest calls for songs about Khmer Rouge experiences

A songwriting contest launched earlier this month asks young lyricists to turn to a subject usually left out of Cambodia’s songs: suffering under the Khmer Rouge regime.

The competition is run by the Youth Resource Development Program (YRDP), an organisation focused on empowering young Cambodians.

The topic – ‘Remembrance: Khmer Rouge Regime’ – is an exercise in intergenerational understanding, says Chhit Muny, a program manager at YRDP. “We organised this contest because we wanted youth to be reminded about the Khmer Rouge, to [share] the experience of Khmer Rouge survivors,” he says.

Contestants between 15 and 30 years old are encouraged to submit original songs based on dialogue with survivors of the Khmer Rouge regime, including family members. The first-place winner will participate in a cultural exchange focused on reconciliation in Myanmar.

The contest is one of 19 cultural reparations projects for the Khmer Rouge tribunal’s ongoing Case 002/02. Dy Chhunsong, a representative of the tribunal’s Victim Support Section, says that music offers a unique means of remembrance: one of considered art that is empowering, not just sad.

“We are trying to integrate a more positive solution, to make [civil parties] happy,” he says. “We believe that survivors will relax when they hear these new songs.”

Chhunsong says that a song could have the added advantage of preserving collective memory for the next generation. “It’s important to have this project,” he adds. “When youth apply, they also have to learn, and to understand survivors’ suffering.”

The contest’s winner will be presented at an event in December.

YRDP’s songwriting competition runs through November 7. Contestants can email entries to [email protected], or contact 023 880 194 / 070 262 001 for more information.

RECOMMENDED STORIES

  • Breaking: PM says prominent human rights NGO ‘must close’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has instructed the Interior Ministry to investigate the Cambodian Center for Human Rights (CCHR) and potentially close it “because they follow foreigners”, appearing to link the rights group to the opposition Cambodia National Rescue Party's purported “revolution”. The CNRP - the

  • Rainsy and Sokha ‘would already be dead’: PM

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Sunday appeared to suggest he would have assassinated opposition leaders Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha had he known they were promising to “organise a new government” in the aftermath of the disputed 2013 national elections. In a clip from his speech

  • Massive ceremony at Angkor Wat will show ‘Cambodia not in anarchy’: PM

    Government officials, thousands of monks and Prime Minister Hun Sen himself will hold a massive prayer ceremony at Angkor Wat in early December to highlight the Kingdom’s continuing “peace, independence and political stability”, a spectacle observers said was designed to disguise the deterioration of

  • PM tells workers CNRP is to blame for any sanctions

    In a speech to workers yesterday, Prime Minister Hun Sen pinned the blame for any damage inflicted on Cambodia’s garment industry by potential economic sanctions squarely on the opposition party. “You must remember clearly that if the purchase orders are reduced, it is all