May 24, 2010


See a multimedia version of this story at this link.

Once again, the Cambodian American artists from the Washington DC area are on the road. On May 8, they traveled to Richmond, Virginia, to perform at a fundraising event. For the artists who were born in Cambodia, it's another routine, performing a classical dance they have surely performed hundreds of times before. For the younger ones, born in the US, it's a sort of maiden voyage, as this time they are performing a folk dance on their own. They have made the trip to Richmond by themselves, without the elder ones, carrying a legacy that was passed from generation to generation. Little fish growing bigger...

Cambodian Masters, Stories Told...

See the multimedia introduction piece of this project at this link.

This project features 7 Cambodian masters in their specific art.
Meet each of them through a multimedia portrait (photos + interview) at the following links:

Socheatah Ung

Ny Jewell

Masady Mani

Viphas Eng

Phutyrith Sek

Chum Ngek

Kantya Nou

Archival pictures in this stories are from photographers Dominique de Rivaz, Jean-Jacques Kurz and Robert Trippett whose contribution to this project and multimedia pieces are greatly appreciated, thanks a lot!

From the Cambodian refugee camps of the Thai border in 1979 to America today, there’s still thousands of stories that must be told.
All the confirmed artists that I have met at the Cambodian temple of Silver Spring, Maryland these last two years have compelling stories… Most of them have fled Cambodia while the Vietnamese took over the country and the Khmer Rouge loosing it. Several ended up meeting together in Kao-I-Dang refugee camp where they were eager to bring back the Cambodian living arts alive. After a few months, a group of 30 families of artists was admitted in the United States, among the first Cambodian refugees accepted in the US. They settled in Maryland and started a new life in the early 80s. For the last 30 years now they have challenged the odds, going back to school, looking for jobs to support their family and raising their children. Still they continued practicing their art, sharing the tradition to a younger generation of Cambodian Americans.

January 6, 2010

The Nurse

See a multimedia version of this story at this link.

Malida Suong's parents fled Cambodia after the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime, and escaped to Khao-I-Dang refugee camp on the Thai border, where an estimated population of 160,000 refugees was living.
Malida was born in Khao-I-Dang in 1981.
In 1985, the whole family finally left for a new life in a new country, the United States. After a short period in Maine, Malida’s family moved to Lowell, Massachusetts, where South-East Asian refugee families had already settled, among them a big majority of Cambodians. Malida’s parents found jobs easily there, factory works…

It’s not until she traveled back to Cambodia in 2004 - the first time since her family had left the country - that Malida envisioned the career she wanted to embrace: public health and nursing. In May 2009, she has graduated with a Masters in Science and received her license to be a nurse practitioner.
Malida is now working at LCHC (Lowell Community Health Center), a non-profit organization that started in 1970 to serve the diverse ethnic population of Lowell, with high quality and affordable health care services.