Title

Memory and the Everyday Landscape of Violence in Post-Genocide Cambodia

Publication Title

Social & Cultural Geography

Publication Date

12-2012

Document Type

Article

DOI

http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14649365.2012.734847

Keywords

landscape, memory, memorialization, violence, Cambodia.

Disciplines

Asian History | Asian Studies | Peace and Conflict Studies | Place and Environment

Abstract

This paper addresses the politics of memory in post-genocide Cambodia. Since 1979 genocide has been selectively memorialized in the country, with two sites receiving official commemoration: the Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide Crimes and the killing fields at Choeung Ek. However, the Cambodian genocide was not limited to these two sites. Through a case study of two unmarked sites—the Sre Lieu mass grave at Koh Sla Dam and the Kampong Chhnang Airfield—we highlight the salience, and significance, of taking seriously those sites of violence that have not received official commemoration. We argue that the history of Cambodia’s genocide, as well as attempts to promote transitional justice, must remain cognizant of how memories and memorials become political resources. In particular, we contend that a focus on the unremarked sites of past violence provides critical insight into our contemporary understandings of the politics of remembering and of forgetting.

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