"The city of Phnom Penh, Cambodia hosts
public dance lessons most nights on a newly revitalized riverfront
directly in front of prime minister Hun Sen’s urban home. Shortly
before dusk, much of the city gathers to bust a few Apsara moves and
learn a couple choreographed hip- hop steps from a slew of attractive
young men at the head of each group. Outside the bustling capital city,
the provinces come alive, too, as the nation’s only all-girl political
rock group sets up concerts that call into question the international
garment trade, traditional gender roles, and agriculture under
globalization. Cambodia is changing: not what it once was, not yet what
it will be. Hip Hop Apsara: Ghosts Past and Present provides images of a nation’s people emerging from generations of poverty.
Following on the heels of Cambodian Grrrl: Self-Publishing in Phnom Penh, Anne Elizabeth Moore
compiled photographs that document Cambodia’s bustling nightlife, the
nation’s emerging middle class, and the ongoing struggle for social
justice in the beautiful, war-ravaged land.
A series of essays complement the imagery, investigating the
relationship between public and private space, mourning and memory,
tradition and economic development. It is a document of a nation caught
between states of being, yet still deeply affecting."