Persecution & Recovery of
Cambodian Performing Arts

The Khmer Rouge ruled our land from 1975 to 1979. They decided to return to agrarian roots by elimating intellectuals and all vestiges of court culture. They killed or made disappear 90% of Cambodia's musicians, dancers, teachers, and instrument makers and deeply traumatized the remaining 10%. They destroyed 70% of Cambodia's material culture: much of the contents of the National Museums, the entire National Library, virtually all of the educational system including the universities, and most documents.

Since 1979, we have struggled with the slow and difficult reconstruction of our performing arts in Cambodia, in America, and elsewhere. Talented and dedicated master artists and their apprentices and their sponsors in Cambodia and abroad have joined forces to recover the heritage of Angkor Wat.