The “Anlong Veng Peace Tours” is the focus of the Phase 1 Cambodia project for Changing the Story. Find out more about what we’re doing in Cambodia, our approaches, processes and aspirations.
The core Cambodia strand team consists of Dr. Peter Manning (Co-Investigator, University of Bath) and Ly Sok-Kheang (Co-Investigator, Documentation Center of Cambodia) along with a number of other colleagues and organisations across Cambodia.
Theory of Change
As with all of the Phase 1 sub-projects of Changing the Story, the team will conduct a Critical Review and a Proof of Concept project, before disseminating their findings with local, national and international networks.
The Cambodia Theory of Change builds on that created for the entire Changing the Story project, which can be found here.
How does “intergenerational memory” support societies that have experienced conflict? What can past and present approaches in Cambodia tell us?
The first task will be to consolidate an overview of existing and past work that engages with and synthesises themes on memory, reconciliation, memorialisation, heritage, and education in Cambodia. The team will look at academic studies, practical examples from existing and past practice and advocacy, as well as past government approaches. The team already has an excellent grasp of key examples here and will draw heavily on the Documentation Centre of Cambodia (DC-Cam)’s strong record in the area.
- Literature review of past government initiatives
- History of DC-Cam memorialisation activities
- Review of recent and ongoing civil society practice
Reflecting on the value of this critical review for the wider community, Dr. Manning said:
“Our approaches to human rights and transitional justice recognise that memory is a key site for building peaceful and inclusive societies, in particular as memories of difficult experiences are passed from older to younger generations. In this sense, we see the value of memory in terms of its pedagogical role, deterring violence and countering denial, offering dignity for survivors and softening discord and divisions. But there are still important questions about how memory actually works in these contexts, and the best approaches for harnessing it to support these aims. Working on the Anlong Veng Peace Tours offers a window for better understanding practical work of memory across generations in its closest detail and how young people can best be empowered in these processes”.
Proof of concept project
The Anlong Veng Peace Tours is an existing programme of DC-Cam’s. Considered the last stronghold of the Khmer Rouge Movement, Anlong Veng has become an important site for DC-Cam to develop their work in creating spaces for memory, justice and healing in Cambodia. The Peace Tours are “designed to promote inter-personal and inter-community dialogue as part of [DC-Cam’s] larger objectives of promoting memory, peace and reconciliation. Students of various majors and backgrounds, regardless of victims or perpetrators’ sides, are selected and trained to partake in this community-based reconciliation project of the Anlong Veng Peace Center” (DC-Cam).
Changing the Story’s Cambodia-based Research Associate will shadow the Peace Tours to complement the existing activity led by Ly Sok-Kheang, by focusing on two aims: i) generating firm evidence of the efficacy of memory and education in this context; and ii) gauging ways to enhance the participatory aspects of the tours.
In order to explore evidence of the value of intergenerational memory, the research team will interview participants and guides about their experiences of the tours, placing a focus on qualitative data collection to ensure the uniqueness and intrinsic value of these encounters between young people and guides at heritage sites can be captured.
The team will also explore new ways of enhancing student participation and ownership. Building on existing film documentation of the tours, for example, they will explore and pilot participatory filmmaking methodologies within the tours activities, where the university participants co-create their own videos of their conversations, encounters and reflections of their experience at Anlong Veng. This material will then be consolidated into a short film based on the student’s experiences, forming a centrepiece in terms of initial project outputs.
The Cambodia team will hold their dissemination event, “The importance of intergenerational memory in Cambodia” (provisional title), towards the end of 2018, where they will promote their activities and findings with the wider Cambodian and conflict and reconciliation community.