Village History

Democratizing History Project: Giving Marginalized Communities a Voice in their Nation’s History

The Democratizing History Project reflects the development and publication of stories and history from marginalized communities in Cambodia as collected by local Cambodian high school teachers. The project involves three components: (a) formal training of teachers in the collection and writing of oral history; (b) on-the-job training/ mentored development of remote village histories; and (c) publication of the village history in print form for further use in schools and informal education programs in marginalized communities.

Two hundred (200) local teachers will receive formal training (both workshop and ‘hands’-on’) on collecting and writing about oral history from survivors of the Khmer Rouge regime (who have not told their story in court or published form). Their formal training will be accomplished in an intensive 2-day workshop on oral history research and writing. The purpose of the workshop is to provide the basic skills on how to conduct oral interviews of victims and survivors, as well as techniques for writing organized and coherent interview summaries. The 2-day workshop will be followed by a research project in which they will conduct actual interviews of survivors in their local village alongside DC-Cam’s expert staff. Each teacher will be required to interview four survivors in their local village area, as well as identify crime sites in the village including collecting documents and other materials that are donated by villagers.

With your support, this project enable us to begin establishment of a National Historical Commission on Genocide Prevention in Cambodia (or in other words, a Cambodian truth commission)– a complimentary justice (permanent approach) to what happened to two million people who died under the Khmer Rouge. 

Expected Outputs:   Professional development for teachers in marginalized communities. Collect, preserve, and publish the memory of survivors in marginalized communities;  Increased public understanding of history of marginalized communities.  Direct beneficiaries: 3,200 (Teachers:  200 persons; Villager/ Survivors:  800 persons; Family members:  1,200 persons; Publication distribution:  1,000 persons)

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