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Violence and the Dialectics of Landscape: Memorialization in Cambodia


Between 1975 and 1979, approximately two million people were killed in the Cambodian genocide. To date, considerable research has examined the legacies of this period of Cambodia's history, as well as the geographies of memorialization associated with genocidal violence. In this paper we both critique and expand current understandings. We do so, first, through a destabilization of the periodization of Cambodia's violent past and, second, through a re‐theorization of violence itself. Specifically, we resituate the Cambodian genocide as part of a more systemic effort of post‐conflict reconstruction. We argue that from the perspective of the Khmer Rouge, those policies and practices imposed post‐1975 were forwarded in the context of state‐building following five years of civil war (1970–1975). Consequently, a view of genocide as post‐conflict reconstruction calls into question standard understandings of the genocide and especially the post‐1979 memorialization of genocide. To accomplish our goals, we introduce a dialectical understanding of both potential and realized violence, and potential and realized memorialized landscapes.

Publication Information

Full Citation:

Tyner, James A., Savina Sirik, and Samuel Henkin. 2014. "Violence and the Dialectics of Landscape: Memorialization in Cambodia." Geographical Review 104 (July): 277-293. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1931-0846.2014.12026.x

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