A long road if we don’t walk together

Member of USAID and DC-Cam in Anlong Veng

In May 2016, the Documentation Centre of Cambodia opened the Anlong Veng Peace Center. A new space based in the last stronghold of the Khmer Rouge, the Anlong Veng Peace Center is dedicated to memory, reconciliation, and peace building. It achieves these objectives through peace studies and genocide education.

Peace will remain to be a long road for all Cambodians, if we don’t walk together (Dr. Youk Chhang)

According to DC-Cam’s Director Dr. Youk Chhang, written in a 2016 article for the Phnom Penh Post, “the Center not only aims to provide a critical understanding of Cambodia’s violent history, but it also seeks to convey a basic understanding of different theories on conflict resolution and transformation […] Through face-to-face discussions with victims and former KR cadres, the program will challenge participants to contemplate the diversity of human experience (both instances of humanity and inhumanity) during times of conflict and social upheaval. The stories validate the significance of individual human beings, and they help foster the most basic components of conflict transformation and civic skills”.

The Anlong Veng Peace Center

Since 2016, the Center’s activities have continued to flourish, with the Anlong Veng Peace Tours programme taking particular prominence, and forming the focus of Changing The Story’s work in Cambodia (you can read more about our involvement in the project here).

USAID Visits Anlong Veng

Members of DC-Cam and USAID visit the center in Pechet.

From February 26-28 2018, USAID Cambodia Acting Mission Director, Veena Reddy, visited Siem Reap, Anlong Veng, and Preah Vihear, observing a number of different activities. In Siem Reap she visited Pactics, a factory producing textile-related products such as micro-fibre lens cleaners. She also saw the USAID/Feed the Future-funded Agricultural Technology Park established and managed by the Center of Excellence on Sustainable Agricultural Intensification and Nutrition (assisted by numerous American research universities). In Anlong Veng and Preah Vihear, Ms. Reddy toured sites supported by the Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-Cam) preserving and disseminating information about Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge period.

A visit to the Preah Vihear Temple, an ancient Hindu temple built during the period of the Khmer Empire and an important symbolic site in Cambodia’s complex history of conflict.

A new chapter for the Anlong Veng Peace Tours

In April 2018, Dr. Peter Manning (University of Bath) and Prof. Paul Cooke (University of Leeds) will visit Anlong Veng to work with the Peace Center’s Director and fellow Changing The Story Co-Investigator Dr. Ly Sok-Kheang and our newly appointed Research Assistant Sayana Ser.

The group look at the master plan of Anlong Veng

Together they will embark on a new chapter of the Anlong Veng Peace Tours, critically reflecting on the successes and challenges of the Peace Tours so far, and exploring how creative methods such as participatory filmmaking can support the young people they engage with to take ownership of the tours and their future development. Take a look at our Cambodia strand’s Theory of Change for more information as the project progresses.

To see more of the photographs from Veena Reddy’s visit, and the development of the Anlong Veng Peace Center and its recent activities, visit DC-Cam’s Google Photos or USAid Cambodia’s Flickr page

Credit for all images: Documentation Center of Cambodia Archives