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From the Land of Shadows"War, Revolution, and the Making of the Cambodian Diaspora"$
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Khatharya Um

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781479804733

Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: September 2016

DOI: 10.18574/nyu/9781479804733.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM NYU Press SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.nyu.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of NYU Press Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NYSO for personal use.date: 19 October 2021

Violence in Utopia

Violence in Utopia

(p.25) 1 Violence in Utopia
From the Land of Shadows

Khatharya Um

NYU Press

This chapter draws on first-hand survivor accounts of starvation, hard labor, disappearances, and executions to describe the conditions of life and death under the Khmer Rouge, balancing personal narratives with macro analysis of the geographical and temporal variations that complicate readings of Democratic Kampuchea. It examines the regime’s reliance on terror and hunger as disciplinary technologies and underscores human resiliency and agency in the ways that individuals and families navigated, negotiated, resisted, and survived these extraordinary conditions. It includes accounts of child survivors, many of whom were taken away from their parents and confined to the children camps. An examination of the systematic and brutalizing socialization of children to violence provides rich and rare insights into the effect of hunger, deprivation, violence, and terror on young minds. This chapter also examines the enduring legacies of these experiences that, for some, persist long after their resettlement as refugees in the United States.

Keywords:   hunger, executions, disappearances, terror, children camps

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