Séminaires et manifestations scientifiques | Actualités du Centre


Dialogues entre recherches classiques et actuelles sur l’Asie du Sud-Est

7 janvier 2021, de 10h à 12h dans notre salle BigBlueButton (https://webinaire.ehess.fr/b/sor-hcv-6v2)

Sina Emde (chercheure honoraire à l'Australian National University) pour un exposé intitulé "We worked so much and ate so little - Remembering the Khmer Rouge in contemporary Cambodia"
Pour la première séance de 2021 du séminaire "Dialogues entre recherches classiques et actuelles sur l'Asie du Sud-Est" nous aurons le plaisir d'écouter Sina Emde (chercheure honoraire à l'Australian National University) pour un exposé intitulé 
"We worked so much and ate so little - Remembering the Khmer Rouge in contemporary Cambodia"
Vous trouverez ci-dessous le résumé de son intervention ainsi que la référence du texte de Judy Ledgerwood qui sera discuté à cette occasion (disponible sur https://mesdocuments.aria.ehess.fr/s/KmpB46o6ACDaQEY).
Nous nous retrouverons le 7 janvier de 10h à midi dans notre salle BigBlueButton: https://webinaire3.ehess.fr/b/sor-dq5-jcf

Très bonne année et à jeudi prochain,

Catherine Scheer, Paul Sorrentino et Elsa Lafaye de Micheaux.

Résumé de l'intervention :

In 1997 Judy Ledgerwood published one of the first articles on the dynamics and politics of collective remembrance of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. The focus of her study was the memorial site of the former Khmer Rouge security prison and torture centre Tuol Sleng in Phnom Penh. The article was also in dialogue with Michael Vickery’s argument that the master narrative of past state violence of Democratic Kampuchea, what he calls, the Standard Total View (STV), is a crude generalization of the diverse experiences of the Khmer Rouge regime by the Cambodian people, based on the worst and most violent experiences only, especially those of refugees in the camps at the Thai-Cambodian border. In contrast, Ledgerwood, relying on her work in Tuol Sleng and across the country in the 1990s, argues that despite its generalisations the STV resonates with the experiences of a majority of Cambodians. In combination with a state narrative of Khmer Rouge leader policies responsible for the widespread suffering, it “provides an explanation from the inexplicable, and creates from death a re-established sense of national identity” (p. 83). 

Twenty years after Ledgerwood’s work the Extraordinary chambers in the courts of Cambodia (ECCC) commonly known as the Khmer Rouge Tribunal, engendered a new wave of remembering the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, not only through the court trials, but also through its numerous outreach interventions in rural and urban areas of Cambodia. In this talk I re-engage with Ledgerwood’s argument. I suggest that the resonance between the narrative of the suffering under the Khmer Rouge as a result of deliberate orders and the STV has not only established a master narrative of past violence in Cambodia over the last decades, but is further strengthened by the work and the politics of the tribunal. The wide acceptance of this narrative may, however, not only be due to the attempt to explain the inexplicable. It also places collective victimhood at the core of post-conflict nation-building. In the context of the memory work of the tribunal emerging memoryscapes are framed by a historiography that constructs a nation of victims who all have suffered under the rule of the most responsible leaders and “forgets” the shifting boundaries of victim-perpetrator division in Cambodia. My findings are based on multi-sited fieldwork at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC), with a Cambodian Youth Organization engaged in outreach activities and a village at a local memorial site at a former mass grave in 2009/2010 and 2011.  



        Ledgerwood, Judy. “The Cambodian Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocidal Crimes: National Narrative.” Museum Anthropology 21, no. 1 (1997): 82–98. 

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