Governing memory: Justice, reconciliation and outreach at the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia

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Abstract

This article explores how devolved outreach work for the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia works to govern the past as it acts to reshape and reframe potentially ambivalent and conflicting memories of political violence. The article specifically examines an example of outreach targeting a former Khmer Rouge community that has been situated as a key party in Cambodia’s attempts to realize ‘justice’ and ‘reconciliation’. The article analyses the sites and crucibles of memory that outreach work for the court utilizes in licensing a particular reading of Cambodia’s experiences of war and genocide. First, the article shows how museum and memorial sites and technologies produce acquiescent, ambivalent and resistant effects among outreach subjects. Second, the article then considers the consolidation and contestation of memory at a public forum event, noting the ways in which outreach attempts to disarm and reconstitute memorial accounts that conflict with the officially sanctioned reading of Cambodia’s past political violence. Whilst acknowledging the unique characteristics of the case, I argue that it is illustrative of the various ways in which Cambodians might question the legitimacy of the Extraordinary Chambers.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)165-181
JournalMemory Studies
Volume5
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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