ArtsEmerson has received a special commendation from the Massachusetts House of Representatives for its community engagement and work related to the recent presentation of Bangsokol: A Requiem for Cambodia, a composition created by survivors of the Khmer Rouge.
The honor was presented to ArtsEmerson on Wednesday, December 20, the final performance of Bangsokol: A Requiem for Cambodia, by Massachusetts State Representative Rady Mom for “engaging all communities through the arts that unites us all as one diverse world.”
“We are deeply moved to be singled out in this manner by Representative Mom,” said ArtsEmerson's Artistic Director David Dower. It was a real honor to bring this powerful work to Boston, and to work in such close partnership with so many brilliant artists and leaders in the Cambodian community of Lowell in doing so. ArtsEmerson always looks to foster connection across difference through our programming. Bangsokol, and the month of activities leading up to it, were a very meaningful and moving opportunity to do that.”
Bangsokol: A Requiem for Cambodia, which will next appear in Paris in 2018, is a new composition fusing music, voice, movement and visuals. It is the first major symphonic work that addresses the traumas of the late 1970s in Cambodia, and the first collaboration between Oscar-nominated director Rithy Panh and composer Him Sophy, both survivors of the Khmer Rouge and now at the forefront of Cambodia’s cultural renaissance.
Leading up to the sold-out run of Bangsokol in Boston, ArtsEmerson presented Cambodian Culture, Art and History, a month-long series of free and ticketed community engagement events in Boston and in Lowell that included films, conversations, and workshops; and culminated with the community screening of the film First They Killed My Father, produced by Pahn and Angelina Jolie.
The final performance of Bangsokol included a post-conversation with partner Facing History and Ourselves and it drew an audience of nearly 400 people.