Forty-four years ago on April 17th, 1975, Khmer Rouge forces entered Cambodia’s capital seeking to implement an agrarian revolution. Families were torn apart and forced into labor camps throughout Cambodia’s countryside. Between 1975 and 1979 under Khmer Rouge rule, over two million Cambodians perished from torture, death, starvation and forced labor. The Cambodian Genocide also known as “The Killing Fields” has shaped the lives of Cambodians home and abroad.
Today, Cambodians in the diaspora are emerging beyond the identity of the genocide. We are in a moment of a cultural renaissance — from music and the arts, to food and crafts, to education and tech. There is an energy and life that is taking shape in our community. I wrote this letter to Cambodia, reflecting on our growth as a community in America.
A photo essay by Seng So, APEN State Organizer
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