Disturbing the silence: a study of performance and collective memory in Cambodia

Chng , Chin Ying Jocelyn (2010) Disturbing the silence: a study of performance and collective memory in Cambodia. Masters thesis, University of Amsterdam.

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Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Title: Disturbing the silence: a study of performance and collective memory in Cambodia

This thesis explores the use of performance to deal with collective memory in the Cambodian context, specifically with respect to memories of the Khmer Rouge regime. Using two minor case studies and a main case study performance, Breaking the Silence, this thesis explores questions concerning the significance of performance in influencing the collective memory of Cambodia, and the cultural political and ethical issues raised by performance projects involving the collaboration of non-Cambodians. With respect to Breaking the Silence, it points out the problematic assumption that the predominant attitude towards the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia is one of silence, and the underlying Euro-centric orientation of the project. More generally, it aims to show that the collective memory of Cambodia consists not of a homogenous narrative, but of numerous competing strands; while some may find performance a therapeutic means of dealing with the troubling memories, for others performance is not sufficient. Finally, the involvement of non-Cambodian elements in performances shaping the collective memory of Cambodia is also questioned. The introductory chapter gives an overview of the interest in examining performance in relation to collective memory, as well as briefly introduces the main case study, Breaking the Silence, and discusses the approach of basing a significant part of the research on interviews with individuals involved in the performance. Chapter 2 contextualises the thesis, giving background information on performance in Cambodia, the Khmer Rouge period, and collective memory theory. It also includes a discussion iv of two smaller case studies, leading up to the main discussion of Breaking the Silence in Chapter 3. Finally, the concluding chapter links the discussion in Chapter 3 back to the earlier chapters, and sums up the main points of the thesis.

Subjects: H Social Sciences > Cultural industries -- Economic aspects
Depositing User: Ms Ashalatha Krishnan
Date Deposited: 02 Apr 2013 11:32
Last Modified: 02 Apr 2013 11:32
URI: http://drlib.lasalle.edu.sg/id/eprint/84

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