Cambodia and the USA

Owen Bennett Jones introduces personal stories, analysis and insight from BBC correspondents around the world. In this edition, Fergal Keane sees young Cambodians beginning to move on from the horrors of their nation's past, while Vincent Dowd visits a tiny museum paying homage to one of the most famous African-American pioneers in classical music, the singer Marian Anderson.

After the age of utopia and blood

You might think Cambodia's genocide would have caused so much pain and suffering that it would to this day suffuse all aspects of life there. So many died, so many pillars of society were smashed, so many basic human feelings punished. Under the Khmer Rouge, it was a land where even love was banned, with the regime forcing couples together into marriage, as well as apart when one of the partners died or was killed.

Yet even after such mindless, huge-scale mass murder, life moves on – and normal politics and business has been resumed. Fergal Keane has been in Phnom Penh witnessing the trial of some the Khmer Rouge leaders accused of orchestrating the genocide; and he was moved to reflect on how much their actions even matter any more to younger Cambodians.

A voice for freedom, before her time

Given the current emphasis in today's America on the issue of racial equality, it's always striking to realise just how recently legal and social segregation was the rule in the USA itself. The past is not yet dead - and it's far closer than you might think.

In the tough surroundings of South Philadelphia, Vincent Dowd has been exploring how one woman fought for civil rights her own way. Her name was Marian Anderson, and in her day - well before the struggles of 1960s - she broke plenty of barriers as one of the most famous African-American performers in the world.

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10 minutes

Last on

Fri 2 Dec 2011 04:50 GMT

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