This is an Accepted Manuscript version of chapter 8 of the book 'Participatory Arts in International Development' published by Routledge/CRC Press on 29 August 2019. The final version of each chapter can be found at https://changingthestory.leeds.ac.uk/resources/pa-in-id-ams/ The complete book is available online: https://www.crcpress.com/Participatory-Arts-in-International-Development/Cooke-Soria-Donlan/p/book/9780367024970

Project Principal Investigator, Sreenath Nair The South East Asia Consolidated Learning project will work across a selection of the existing CTS portfolio of projects to draw out key lessons learnt, both in terms of theory and practice, maximise synergies across the CtS portfolio, identify key areas of impact of the wider project and define priorities for future work. The Consolidating Learning projects are also an opportunity for CTS to further engage CSO partners and stakeholders internationally, ensuring that our research remains relevant and applicable to their work longer-term

The Creative Expression and Contemporary Arts Making Among Young Cambodians research project analysed the creative practices and concerns of young adult artists (18-35 years old) in contemporary Cambodia. The project examined the extent to which the arts are being used to open up new ways of enacting Cambodian identity that encompass, but also move beyond, a preoccupation with the Khmer Rouge (1975-1979). Existing research has focused on how the recuperation and revival of traditional performance is linked to the post-genocidal reconstruction of the nation. In contrast, this research examines if, and how, young artists are moving beyond the revival process to create works that speak to a young Cambodian population. The research used NGO Cambodian Living Arts’ 2020 Cultural Season of performances, workshops, and talks as a case study through which to examine key concerns of young Cambodian artists, trace how these affected their creative process, and analyse how the resulting works were received among audiences. Find out more in the project report.

On March 3, 2021, Changing the Story and Oxfam welcomed practitioners, researchers, youth, and colleagues to an online discussion on how national and international NGOs can engage in creativity, connection and collective creation with young people. Dr Amanda Rogers (University of Swansea), Reaksmey Yean (Centre for Khmer Studies), and Sokhorn Yon (Cambodian Living Arts) of Changing the Story research project ‘Contemporary Arts Making and Creative Expression among Young Cambodians’, were invited to frame a discussion, drawing on their experience of arts-based research and knowledge of the arts and culture in the Cambodian context. In sharing this summary of the emerging ideas and questions, we aim to provoke further dialogue on how organisations can engage in collective creation with young people.

In this February 2018 article in the Phnom Penh Post, our Cambodia Co-Investigator, Ly Sok-Kheang shares his reflections on Im Chaem’s recent conversion to Christianity and its role in Cambodia’s ongoing peace-making process. Ly Sok-Kheang is director of the Anlong Veng Peace Center, established by the Documentation Center of Cambodia in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism.

On April 18, twelve trainee teachers, including students from Takeo province and three from the local area, themselves children of former Khmer Rouge, participated in the tour. Preparing for the journey to Anlong Veng, the students from Takeo wondered what they would learn from the visit, and what to expect from the tour. Were the former Khmer Rouge residents living in Anlong Veng be so different in their beliefs, attitudes, and culture? Several students had little familiarity – or belief – in the history of the Khmer Rouge in general. The April 2018 Peace Tour also marked a particularly important moment within the wider Changing the Story project. While tour participants had previously been assigned research tasks to draft reports on the history and experiences of local residents, the April 2018 tour was the first deployment of participatory film-making methods as a means for students to explore the stories of local residents and former Khmer Rouge. Working in groups of four, the student-teachers were trained in the use of audio-visual equipment ‘on-site’, identifying key themes and questions for their films to explore, before conducting interviews and capturing footage of key sites in the area. The ‘multiplication’ effect of the participatory-film making approach is significant: the trainee-teachers will be able to incorporate their films within their own teaching as they return to their schools.

As part of Changing the Story’s Phase One activities in Cambodia, this critical review and project reflection explores the use of arts within attempts to redress and remember experiences of the Khmer Rouge, with a particular focus on the varying participatory and educational methods employed therein. We necessarily and deliberately employ a broad definition of ‘participation’ in order to sensitise readers to the variety of ways participation has been integrated and mobilised in the work of both state and civil society led initiatives. The critical review then turns to reflect on the work of Changing the Story through our collaboration with the Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-Cam). Specifically, we seek to draw lessons from the introduction of participatory filmmaking approaches to DC-Cam’s Anlong Veng Peace Tours initiatives from April to December 2018.

This article reflects on a series of participatory video projects led by young Cambodians that sought to engage and explore complex ‘perpetrator’ memories with the aim of building dialogue across communities and generations. Working in partnership with the Documentation Centre of Cambodia through 2018, our participatory-video project sought to document the experiences and accounts of former lower level Khmer Rouge community members. We show how participatory video allows and produces interventions on memory that can renegotiate, augment and contest dominant narratives of past violence.

Final project report, 'Environmental activism and Indigenous issues in Cambodia: The role of film-based advocacy with and for young people.' Funding for this project was provided by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council and Global Challenges Research Fund under the “Follow on funding for impact” scheme. The parent project was Changing the Story.