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Communities of ImaginationContemporary Southeast Asian Theatres$
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Catherine Diamond

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780824835842

Published to Hawaii Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.21313/hawaii/9780824835842.001.0001

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Cambodia’s Artistic Renaissance or a New Culture of Dependency?

Cambodia’s Artistic Renaissance or a New Culture of Dependency?

(p.121) Chapter 4 Cambodia’s Artistic Renaissance or a New Culture of Dependency?
Communities of Imagination

Catherine Diamond

University of Hawai'i Press

This chapter looks at how the Cambodian public is strongly affected by Thai pop culture. This is especially true of the post-Democratic Kampuchea generation that is both exposed to global media and lacks a strong engagement with its own local cultural expressions. The various kinds of performing arts that used to compete with one another are caught in holding patterns of preservation and survival rather than innovation. The chapter questions whether or not foreign donors, despite the best of intentions, have been responsible for creating and sustaining a culture of dependency. On a more positive note, artists in the Cambodian diaspora are operating through groups like Amrita Performing Arts, Creative Living Arts (CLA), Khmer Arts Academy, and Sovanna Phum. These organizations are not only giving performers a chance to work, but are also innovating new combinations of Western and Cambodian genres and texts.

Keywords:   Cambodian public, Thai pop culture, dependency, Cambodian artists, Amrita Performing Arts, Creative Living Arts, Khmer Arts Academy, Sovanna Phum

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