In this episode, Lachlan explains how Cambodia transitioned from the heights of the Khmer Empire and the glory of Angkor, toward the smaller, less powerful country that is more familiar to modern observers. This period, known as the 'dark ages', or 'middle period' of Cambodian history is hugely important for an explanation of the revolutionary period in the 1970s, that is Pol Pot and the Cambodian Genocie (what will form the bulk of this series). So in this early chapter of the series, we will begin to set up some of the contributing factors that would become 'the Cambodian Nightmare', including the relationship that develops between Cambodia and its Eastern neighbour -- Vietnam. For more information about the show please visit www.shadowsofutopia.com
Tom Chandler is a senior lecturer at Monash University. His research has focused upon the design and development of immersive simulations of the past, particularly the medieval Cambodian capital of Angkor. In what is the first interview of the series Lachlan speaks with Tom about how immersive virtual recreations can transform our imagination of the 'skeletal remains' of Angkor. The uses of this research for historians as well as the resources that Tom and his team at the Virtual Angkor Project are using to simulate the past. Visit www.virtualangkor.com for more information.
In part two Lachlan explains the golden age of the Khmer Empire, the enduring symbols built during this Angkorean era and the impact of its most powerful rulers. What comes up must come down however, and following the rule of Jayavarman VII the gradual transformation into the Cambodia we are more familiar with took place. During this time the capital was visited by Chinese diplomat Zhou Daguan, and the book he wrote about his stay in Angkor - 'The Customs of Cambodia', is given some time as we highlight some of the 'colour' that this account provides historians. Lachlan then explains the most common theories given for the collapse of the Khmer Empire and the abandonment of Angkor - and whether these are even the right words we should use to describe this period.
In the first part of our journey into the history of Cambodia, Lachlan explains the earliest periods of Khmer civilisation - before Angkor Wat, before the great monarchs of the 12th Century. To truly understand the Khmer Rouge revolution, the Killing Fields and the 'Cambodian Genocide', the story must encompass the highs and lows of the Khmer Empire that would prove so influential to the architects of Democratic Kampuchea. In this episode Lachlan explains the significance of rain, the land and farming to the history of Cambodia as well as the formation of what would become the largest city in the pre-industrial world, Angkor. Please visit www.shadowsofutopia.com for more information.
In the first podcast to explore the Khmer Rouge revolution in Cambodia, join Lachlan Peters as he explains one of the worst periods of mass death in the 20th century. In the beautiful Southeast Asian country of Cambodia, an uneasy neutrality during the Vietnam War would collapse into a civil conflict that plunged the nation into a brutal civil war. However, once the war was over the nightmare truly began. A student of Cambodian history for more than ten years, Lachlan Peters invites you to learn more about the reasons why this utter human tragedy - most commonly known as 'the Cambodian Genocide', or by the phrase 'the Killing Fields', took place. At the end of this original series you will be able to understand why the crimes of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge have impacted the country so severely. Please visit www.shadowsofutopia.com for more information.