Oral History Archives and Forced Marriage under the Khmer Rouge

Oral History Archives and Forced Marriage under the Khmer Rouge

Country  Cambodia
Repository  Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, St.113, Boeung Keng Kang III, Boeung Keng Kang, Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Section  Other Documentary Heritage that Contributes to Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment
Gender Dimension  Stories from women's perspective
GEM  GEM 1– Gender Sensitive
Description  The Oral History Archives consist of two oral history collections. The “Cambodian Women’s Oral History” project was an independent self-funded research project led by Dr Theresa de Langis between 2012 and 2016. The project undertook 24 interviews including one with a transgendered woman.

In March 2016, the full set of video-audio recordings, Khmer transcripts and photographs were donated to the Tuol Sleng Archives in Phnom Penh. The Museum staff also undertook six more interviews, including with two men.

The narrators in the oral histories shared their life stories including the violence before and after the Khmer Rouge took power. The oral histories include stories of sexual and gender-based violence as well as the long-term impacts of societal instability and personal trauma experienced by survivors.

In 2016 an exhibition called Sorrow and Struggle of Women: Forced Marriage During the Khmer Rouge Period was held at the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum. It was dedicated to the women and men who were forced to marry during the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia (1975-1979). The material for the exhibition was drawn from both oral history collections and was based on photographs and excerpts from the oral histories of six women and one man. The exhibition provided a space for women’s voices to reach a broader public on this little known aspect of the Khmer Rouge atrocity and its particular impact on women.

The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum Archive was inscribed on the Memory of the World Asia Pacific register in 2008 and on the international register in 2009. The inscription covered documentary heritage from the site's existence as the S-21 prison and interrogation centre.

The UNESCO / Jikji Memory of the World Prize 2020 was awarded to the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum.
Reference  - https://tuolsleng.gov.kh/en/exhibition/temporary/the-sorrow-and-struggle-of-women/

- http://cambodianwomensoralhistory.com/about

- Photo credit: © Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum