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Past Present, Present Past: Restoring Time beyond the Khmer Rouge Regime

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Abstract:

The Khmer Rouge tribunal focuses on a punitive and retributive system of justice, one based in an international framework, where individuals must be held responsible for the terrible crimes of the Khmer Rouge and where justice is served through imprisonment and the finding of guilt. But for most Khmer people in Cambodia, these courts hold little relevance and make no impact on their everyday lives, where local forms of dealing with that period of history take dominance. Based on anthropological fieldwork in Cambodia, this paper will explore how people in rural Cambodia draw on Buddhist frames of reference to understand and narrate the regime, and by doing so are creating their own understandings and lived experiences of that period of historical violence. It will discuss how people narrate the period as situated within Buddhist temporality, one that situates times of chaos and stability as part of dukkha – the eternal suffering of life, and explore how through the resilience of Buddhism and its ritual resilience – the maintenance of forms of ritual (even if imaginative) during the regime - people make links between the period before the Khmer Rouge and after it, and thus are able to narrate the chaos and destruction as an aspect of Khmer Buddhist cosmology, that enables recovery in everyday life beyond the courts.
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Association:
Name: Association for Asian Studies - Annual Conference
URL:
http://www.asian-studies.org


Citation:
URL: http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1187439_index.html
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MLA Citation:

Bennett, Caroline. "Past Present, Present Past: Restoring Time beyond the Khmer Rouge Regime" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Asian Studies - Annual Conference, Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, Toronto, Canada, <Not Available>. 2017-07-22 <http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1187439_index.html>

APA Citation:

Bennett, C. "Past Present, Present Past: Restoring Time beyond the Khmer Rouge Regime" Paper presented at the annual meeting of the Association for Asian Studies - Annual Conference, Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel, Toronto, Canada <Not Available>. 2017-07-22 from http://citation.allacademic.com/meta/p1187439_index.html

Publication Type: Panel Paper
Abstract: The Khmer Rouge tribunal focuses on a punitive and retributive system of justice, one based in an international framework, where individuals must be held responsible for the terrible crimes of the Khmer Rouge and where justice is served through imprisonment and the finding of guilt. But for most Khmer people in Cambodia, these courts hold little relevance and make no impact on their everyday lives, where local forms of dealing with that period of history take dominance. Based on anthropological fieldwork in Cambodia, this paper will explore how people in rural Cambodia draw on Buddhist frames of reference to understand and narrate the regime, and by doing so are creating their own understandings and lived experiences of that period of historical violence. It will discuss how people narrate the period as situated within Buddhist temporality, one that situates times of chaos and stability as part of dukkha – the eternal suffering of life, and explore how through the resilience of Buddhism and its ritual resilience – the maintenance of forms of ritual (even if imaginative) during the regime - people make links between the period before the Khmer Rouge and after it, and thus are able to narrate the chaos and destruction as an aspect of Khmer Buddhist cosmology, that enables recovery in everyday life beyond the courts.


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From Genocide to Fragmentation: Cambodia from the Khmer Rouge to the Present

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