This groundbreaking book presents the stories of 15 Khmer American artists, and shares how they each negotiate their histories and identities and express themselves through the arts.
Voices of a New Generation: Cambodian Americans in the Creative Arts presents the experiences of fifteen Cambodian American artists, from martial arts experts to filmmakers, from fashion designers to rappers. The artists who share their stories in this book are members of the 1.5 and 2.0 generations: the sons and daughters of refugees from the Khmer Rouge regime.
Most U.S. history textbooks, if they include Southeast Asian Americans at all, lump them together, usually in one chapter. They inform the reader in a few paragraphs that there was war in “Indochina” in the 1960s and 70s which resulted in thousands of refugees relocating to the U.S. beginning in the 1980s. And while this is true, a cursory mention certainly does not reflect the diversity of experiences of these communities, or the individuals within these different communities.
Even within the discipline of Asian American studies, the curricula have rarely or barely included the experiences of Southeast Asian Americans, especially Cambodian Americans. My hope is that this book can shed light on some of these collective experiences and individual journeys and inspire us to share more.
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