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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

In Context: Bangsokol: A Requiem for Cambodia

Two survivors of the Khmer Rouge, composer Him Sophy and filmmaker Rithy Panh, attempt to return dignity to their country’s fallen with Bangsokol–a musical ritual remembering the Cambodian genocide. Context is everything, so get even closer to the production with this curated selection of related articles and videos. After you've attended the show, let us know what you thought by posting in the comments below and on social media using #BAMNextWave.

Program Notes

Coming soon!


Composer Him Sophy explains why Bangsokol embodies the spirit of his idea that "The World is Our Home."

Remembering Cambodia's Lost Artists (BAM blog)
Illustrator Nathan Gelgud pays tribute to five creative visionaries lost to the oppressive Khmer Rouge.

A 'Requiem' for Cambodian Genocide Victims Wants to Help Bring 'Peace to the World' (NBC News)
“Art like this helps us to remember the past, but also to look forward and hope for a peaceful future," notes Him.

90% of Cambodia’s artists did not survive the Khmer Rouge regime, but this organization is intent on protecting their legacy.

Learn more about the tragic history underscoring this particular Bangsokol rite.

Watch & Listen

When Cambodian Refugees Came to the Bronx (Voices of NY)
September's episode of “Asian American Life” covers (among other things) the spread of jazz music into Asian countries and the resettlement of Cambodian refugees in the Bronx.

The Aspen Institute hosts a panel discussion about the power of art to transform society and to heal nations and their people.

Now your turn...

How did you enjoy the show? Likes? Dislikes? Surprises? Tell us what's on your mind in the comments below and on social media using #BAMNextWave.


  1. This show was incredible - deeply moving. The mix of art forms really worked and the infusion of Buddhist ceremonial elements balanced the horror and tragedy with a sane way to heal.

  2. The Bangsokol performance at BAM was very moving. The music was complex and multi-layered. It was richly varied and moved through a number of different formats. The movement of a large group of performers across and around the stage suggested the focus on resurrection. I found the Buddhist commentary especially appropriate in this context as it presented the religious tradition of Cambodia.
    While I was very moved by the performance as a whole, I found the use of films of bombings to be repeated beyond what was necessary to make the point. While I understand the desire to insure that the audience was familiar with the sad history of modern Cambodia, I felt this could have been accomplished with less repetition.
    However, all in all, this was a very moving event, and I am very glad to have been able to see it.
    Many thanks to all involved!