For most people the phrase 'Cambodian Genocide' refers to the two million people who died during the time that Pol Pot's Communist Party of Kampuchea was in control of Cambodia. The people who died were, by a vast majority, ethnic Khmer. Although the numbers are hard to judge, it is thought that less than 100,000 ethnic Chams died, as well as more than 10,000 Vietnamese and slightly lower numbers of other minority groups. As the ECCC verdict in November 2018 was announced, most of those familiar with the tribunal had no doubt that the accused would be found guilty of genocide - and they were.
Nuon Chea was found guilty of genocide of Vietnamese and Chams, while Khieu Samphan just Vietnamese. So, officially, the Khmer Rouge regime had been found guilty of genocide. But this was for two ethnic groups that are... not Cambodian. There is a reason that these two men were not charged with the genocide of Cambodians, because the treatment of the Khmer that led to more than 2,000,000 deaths was not genocidal in nature. It is much more accurately described as crimes against humanity - which the surviving leaders have been found guilty of. There is a wider (and often politicised) debate in the literature about the definitions of genocide and their applicability in the Cambodian case, however I feel that I fall within the category of those that believe the phrase 'the Cambodian Genocide', is not accurate.
So, when creating this podcast, I faced the decision of choosing the obvious and much easier searched/found name for the series; "the Cambodian Genocide Podcast", or going with the phrase that I feel truly encapsulates what I feel the show is about; 'In the Shadows of Utopia'. Unfortunately, I still need to make the show searchable, and there is a slim chance of someone thinking, 'hey I wonder if there is a podcast about Cambodian history and the Khmer Rouge... I wonder if it's called 'In the Shadows of Utopia'. So, on some videos on youtube and the comments for some posts I will add 'the Cambodian Genocide Podcast', but this is more out of the need to make the show easy to find for those looking.
Toward the end of the series I plan on having a few episodes that basically just act as essays that can explore some of the 'debates' around this period of history, ones that will make sense once the 'story' is over, but be interesting for those who might look at this content with an academic background. So until I can get to the episode on explaining why the 'Cambodian Genocide' is not an accurate term, I will just leave this post here explaining why I, still find the term useful.