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Links 1 through 10 of 17 by slugdog tagged articlesjwmedia

“Generally speaking, I’ve found most Cambodians embrace the internet as a place for self-expression ‘first’, with human rights then being reflected in their opinions,” says John Weeks, an American in Cambodia who regularly consults with human rights groups on net strategy.

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How did you find out about Twitter? A friend from the States turned me onto it and there is a guy named John Weeks who is THE guy in Cambodia about social media and he convinced me to start tweeting on a regular basis.

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Wherever there are people and pens, comics seem to spring up. This long, comprehensive story on comics in Cambodia documents the emergence of a cartooning scene through the dust and haze of past political upheaval as a bunch of young folk try to make their dreams come true.

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Something’s going on in the world of Cambodian comics. Since the first known graphic novel was published in 1964, comics artists have struggled to overcome the challenges posed by the war period, advent of television, and copyright issues. Today signs are pointing to a reinvigoration of comics, as an emerging generation of artists begins to explore new directions. Mai Lynn Miller Nguyen takes a stroll through the history of Cambodian comics and asks what the future beholds.

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“One laptop per child is a great concept; one phone per person is closer to reality. Anyone with a phone in this country can already broadcast out to the internet via international SMS and Twitter. These channels will widen and get more sophisticated,” explains John Weeks, chief executive officer of House 32 web design and founder of tweetcambodia.com.

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Comic art hit its peak in Cambodia in the early 1990s, but since then the local market has declined tremendously. The spread of television and a lack of training in Cambodia could partially explain this decline, organisers say. John Weeks, managing editor of Our Books, said that many Cambodian comic book artists today view themselves as illustrators rather than just cartoonists. "In the West, you have the options to slot yourself into one particular role. Here, people just have to take up what's available," he said.

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"The Khmer diaspora has had interesting effects on Khmer culture," says John Weeks, the assistant managing editor at Our Books. Filmmakers and novelists who fled Cambodia have helped map out a record of its struggles, and émigré communities have been instrumental in keeping traditional dance and music alive after many of its best practitioners were persecuted.

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“We have a dichotomy. Cambodia has leapfrogged landlines to embrace modern, high-tech mobile phones. Users aren’t afraid of technology. But phones are not reaching their full potential,” said John Weeks, an American blogger who has lived in Phnom Penh since 2003. “If ordinary Cambodians can overcome the language barrier and literacy barriers, phones have incredible gateway potential that would dwarf the current blog boom.”

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According to John Weeks, assistant managing editor of the NGO Our Books, the primary subject matter of Cambodia's budding literary talent is that age-old favorite: "Romance, romance, romance". The increasing interest in literature at degree level mirrors a broader trend -- now "people are hungry for books and reading material in general," Weeks says. But despite the growing demand for books in Cambodia, the infrastructure for a strong industry is still not in place. "The market is there; we just need to have more people willing to publish and distribute the work," Weeks says.

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