bm266 Finding Cambodia’s Lost Culture

Bophana is an organization based in Phnom Penh, dedicated to finding and archiving video, audio, and text documentation of Cambodian culture.  Throughout the decades of war and the destructive Khmer Rouge regime, much of the nation’s audio-visual archives were lost. But Bophana has taken on the task of gathering this material, from private individuals in the country, or institutions and film companies abroad.  I was given an informative tour and a demonstration of how the archive works, later we recorded this podcast interview.

We Discuss:

  • What is Bophana
  • Who is behind this organization
  • Why should Cambodia need such a place
  • Types of activities and areas of interest
  • Funding sources, funding problems
  • Difficulties with finding skilled workers for this type of work


  • Apostle of Hustle – Folkloric Field
  • Kanye West – Heard’em Say

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2 thoughts on “bm266 Finding Cambodia’s Lost Culture

  • June 14, 2008 at 12:27 pm


    How do you feel about this interview? It seemed to me that the people you were interviewing were rather unenthusiastic and possibly even uniformed about the centre. Was this just due to the language barrier?

    – Karamoon

    • June 16, 2008 at 2:59 pm

      The interview itself.. I felt it didn’t go as well as it should have. The people who took me around were, of course, very kind and willing to show me around even take me to editing suites and bring an editor to talk to me. I can’t say enough about how welcoming they were and I consider Aurelie to be a friend of mine now.

      The drawback was that.. as you should hear in the interview.. they want to gradually put everything in the hands of cambodians.. cambodian staff, etc. So my interview became part of that process, as it was one of if not THE first interview the gentleman had given in English.. himself being a specialist in French normally. So this was a sort of training for him… Aurelie.. who is excellent in french or english of course, was sitting right there but very intent on her cambodian counterpart doing the work as of course, he will more and more in the future.

      While I recognize the importance of all that.. my podcast does suffer to some extent as I got too many canned answers and well.. we had trouble understanding each other.

      And now I know theyre reading this and Ill never be invited again. ALAS. I did enjoy and do say a big thank you to Bophana.

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