Beyond Year Zero: Cambodia Then and Now

Beyond Year Zero: Cambodia Then and Now

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Welcome to Beyond Year Zero: A podcast about Cambodia then and now! This podcast explores the dark and difficult history of the Khmer Rouge regime, and asks what effects and impact did the Pol Pot period have on the dynamic and vibrant society of Cambodia today? Taking a thematic approach, Beyond Year Zero draws on interviews with practitioners and notaries from leading communities of practice in contemporary Cambodia to explore the relationship between history, society, violence, and – ultimately – human nature. Themes explored include the arts, gender, land, and many more besides. So please join me on my journey into the dark heart of this troubled nation’s past, it’s captivating present, and it’s bright and contested future. Join me on my journey to go beyond year zero. On the 9th January, 1979 Vietnamese troops overthrew Pol Pot, bringing an end to the violence and genocide that defined his rule. The effort to rebuild the country after decades of war was long and arduous, and made even more difficult by Cold War politics and ongoing guerilla warfare conducted by the Khmer Rouge well into the 1990’s. It was a tumultuous and difficult period, one which has had a deep influence on Cambodian politics and society today – and which continues to be bitterly contested in the way that it is remembered and memorialised. How do Cambodians make sense of their tragic and bloody past? And what difference does the memorialisation of genocide have on the way people live their lives today? I spoke to four experts on reconciliation and peacebuilding to begin to answer these questions. We shared fascinating discussions on a wide range of topics, including on the rise of Hun Sen and the CCP, the role of “fake news” and whether or not the Vietnamese faked the Toul Sleng prison, as well as why some people in Cambodia still support the Khmer Rouge leadership even to this day… I was honoured to speak with Prok Vanny, formerly of the Human Rights Defence League Party; Chhay Visoth, Director of the Toul Sleng Genocide Museum; Kheang Ly, Director of the Anlong Veng Peace Center; and Chum Mey, survivor of the Toul Sleng torture prison. Thank you for your time and generosity in sharing your insights and experiences for this podcast. www.facebook.com/BeyondYearZero

Recent Episodes

  • BYZ003 - Memory and Memorialisation

    12 months ago
  • BYZ002 - Gender and Women's Rights

    3 years ago
  • BYZ001 - The Arts

    3 years ago