For various reasons, family histories are uncommon in Cambodia. Many of the few records that did exist were destroyed during the Khmer Rouge period (1975 to 1979). With up to one-third of the adult population killed during the purges, the population is young and the remainder of the older generation’s stories are being rapidly lost. Many of Cambodia’s younger generation hardly know their families’ backgrounds.
Formally launched in January 2016, The Cambodia Oral History Project seeks to capture these stories by engaging local youth in the process. Youth and young adults in Cambodia interview family members to learn about their lives and stories. To date, we have collected over 5,000 interviews. Most of them are available as audio on the project website, and the team is transcribing and translating them.
The project is led by Prof. Dana Bourgerie in the Department of Asian and Near Eastern Studies. ODH designed the data model, as well as the websites for both entering and accessing those data.