RGS-IBG Annual International Conference 2019

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281 Wandering Souls — a story of Cambodian resilience and healing
Affiliation Developing Areas Research Group
Convenor(s) Rachel Hughes (The University of Melbourne, Australia)
Chair(s) Rachel Hughes (The University of Melbourne, Australia)
Timetable Friday 30 August 2019, Session 1 (09:00 - 10:40)
Room RGS-IBG Ondaatje Theatre
Session abstract In October 2017, a new stage production premiered at the Melbourne International Arts Festival in Melbourne, Australia. Bangsokol: a Requiem for Cambodia is a unique fusion of music, voice, movement and projected images in remembrance of the two million Cambodians who died under the Khmer Rouge regime. Bangsokol also celebrates the renaissance of an artistic life that had all but disappeared. The Requiem has been commissioned by Cambodian Living Arts, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to reviving the arts and bringing international attention to a world still in conflict.

The Requiem’s libretto is based on a traditional bangsokol, the Khmer Buddhist ritual for the dead, but combines Khmer instruments and vocalists with a Western chamber orchestra and chorus. A triptych of images by Rithy Panh is simultaneously projected during the performance. Containing material from Panh’s earlier films, archival footage and new footage, the film represents Cambodia’s recent past and illuminates various aspects of the musical work.

Filmed over a year of artistic development of the Requiem, this documentary charts its staging and includes powerful accounts of the survival experiences of those involved. The Requiem’s principal creators, both child survivors, are world-renowned filmmaker Rithy Panh, and Cambodia’s premier composer, Him Sophy. The film follows the joy and tension of creative collaboration through pre-production periods and rehearsals leading up to the Melbourne premiere performance.

The film screening will close with discussion chaired by a Cambodia researcher and consultant on the film.
Contact the conference organisers to request a change to session or paper details: ac2019@rgs.org
Wandering Souls — a story of Cambodian resilience and healing
Rachel Hughes (The University of Melbourne, Australia)
In October 2017, a new stage production premiered at the Melbourne International Arts Festival in Melbourne, Australia. Bangsokol: a Requiem for Cambodia is a unique fusion of music, voice, movement and projected images in remembrance of the two million Cambodians who died under the Khmer Rouge regime. Bangsokol also celebrates the renaissance of an artistic life that had all but disappeared. The Requiem has been commissioned by Cambodian Living Arts, a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to reviving the arts and bringing international attention to a world still in conflict.

The Requiem’s libretto is based on a traditional bangsokol, the Khmer Buddhist ritual for the dead, but combines Khmer instruments and vocalists with a Western chamber orchestra and chorus. A triptych of images by Rithy Panh is simultaneously projected during the performance. Containing material from Panh’s earlier films, archival footage and new footage, the film represents Cambodia’s recent past and illuminates various aspects of the musical work.

Filmed over a year of artistic development of the Requiem, this documentary charts its staging and includes powerful accounts of the survival experiences of those involved. The Requiem’s principal creators, both child survivors, are world-renowned filmmaker Rithy Panh, and Cambodia’s premier composer, Him Sophy. The film follows the joy and tension of creative collaboration through pre-production periods and rehearsals leading up to the Melbourne premiere performance.

The film screening will close with discussion chaired by a Cambodia researcher and consultant on the film.