I spent a great deal of time working through the book this past week, and in particular making sure the Cambodian History was accurate and ‘fit for purpose’. DC-Cam have been brilliant in providing extra archive images, and I think all is now set. Vicky and I are working on the final edit before sending the file (hopefully early next week) to the printers in Cambodia. They are securing an ISBN.
True to me usual form, still quite a lot of reading this past week – especially on the ideas of place. At the moment, I am not exactly sure how this will play out in the installation, but I do know that the work on the history has sparked an interest in the use of maps to help explain the broader context for the personal stories.
A snippet would be that the Khmer Rouge deliberately upended people’s views of where home was – and even what their family was – with severe geographic separation and renaming of geography. They eliminated all Provinces, for example, in favour of compass point administrative structures.
I knew this, factually, but it is only through this recent research that I have come to see this as a deliberate strategy of revolution – change through dislocation, physically, conceptually and emotionally.
Khmer Rouge – Renaming Geography. Courtesy Documentary Center of Cambodia Archives.
Header: Children at work camp. Courtesy Documentary Center of Cambodia Archives.