ArtsEmerson & Cambodian Living Arts Present ARTS & HEALING: BANGSOKOL VIRTUAL FESTIVAL

Arts & Healing: Bangsokol Virtual Festival runs from December 11 – 20, 2020.

By: Nov. 24, 2020
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ArtsEmerson & Cambodian Living Arts Present ARTS & HEALING: BANGSOKOL VIRTUAL FESTIVAL

ArtsEmerson, Boston's leading presenter of contemporary world theatre and the professional presenting and producing organization at Emerson College, is excited to team-up with Cambodian Living Arts (CLA) to stage Arts & Healing: Bangsokol Virtual Festival from December 11 - 20, 2020.

This two-week series of online performances, film screenings, and conversations will bring artists, audiences, and leading cultural organizations from around the world together to revisit the making of the original Bangsokol stage production and to reflect on what that work and this project has meant to them.

In response to the challenges and realities of 2020, the digital festival is inspired by the groundbreaking multi-disciplinary production Bangsokol: A Requiem for Cambodia, which seeks to honor victims of violence and explore the healing, hope and resilience of survivors. The festival culminates with two brand new music and dance performances created exclusively for the festival.

The festival will celebrate the intercultural connections forged around a Cambodian story, explore changing contexts in a time of global pandemic and highlight resilience, as well as creative strategies, collaborations, and responses to crisis. The program includes a mixture of screenings, including a documentary about the making of Bangsokol and a film capture of the Royal Gala Performance in Phnom Penh in November 2019, alongside discussions. The finale of the festival will comprise new music inspired by Bangsokol and a ritual dance performance, commissioned especially for the festival and featuring artists from five of the countries involved in the production.

David Dower, Artistic Director at ArtsEmerson shares, "We are committed to working in long arcs of time with our artists and communities that connect here through ArtsEmerson. So this festival is a perfect opportunity to continue discussions sparked by Bangsokol and extend the relationship with Cambodian Living Arts." He adds, "The piece itself is profoundly moving and people who were in the sold out audiences when it arrived in Boston in December of 2017 still talk about it. So, we're happy to be partnering with CLA to both expand on that experience for those who've seen it and to welcome people who were unable to attend the performances live."

Susan Chinsen, Associate Producer at ArtsEmerson, shares, "This festival also uplifts the Cambodian diaspora, and recognizes our neighbors in Lowell, the second largest Cambodian community in America." She continues, "As a virtual festival, physical boundaries are minimized, and the flow of healing from connections between the art and each audience member are increased."

All members of the public are invited to get involved through #ArtsHealing2020. The Arts & Healing: Bangsokol Virtual Festival hopes to highlight stories of creativity, collaboration, and responses to crises around the world in 2020. Everyone can be part of this collective act of resilience. Share an image or video that tells us a story about the arts and healing for you in 2020. You can post on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #ArtsHealing2020, and tag @ArtsEmerson (Twitter, Instagram, Facebook) and @CambodianLivingArts (Instagram and Facebook) or @CamboLivingArts (Twitter). Submissions will be featured and highlighted throughout the festival!

An event calendar with all programs included during the Arts & Healing: Bangsokol Virtual Festival taking place December 11 - 20 may be found below.

All programs are free; to receive a link to view one or more of the festival presentations, please register here.