"Voices of the 1.5 Generation"
Reconciliation through Oral History Performance
Workshop Facilitator and Project Lead: Chantria Tram
Filmmaker/Videographer: Paul Tom
Participants: Madavine Tom, Somaly Hay, Vichea, Sarom Om, Michel Y, and Sophy Om
Video directed by Paul Tom
Voices of the 1.5 Generation is an artist in residency project which explores the two-way transmission of stories and memories between a generation that has endured extreme human rights violations, and their children—young people who, while receiving these stories, are also in the midst of creating and redefining their own identities and narratives. What perspectives do these Khmer youths have to share, and what do these say about where we are in the process of transmitting stories? How will these new emerging stories shape the Khmer community and identity? What is the legend that these youths wish to now create for themselves and for future generations?
Using oral history interviews from the Cambodian Working Group of the Montreal Life Stories Project as a launching point, participants met each week starting in January 2012 over an intensive three-month long journey to explore their personal and collective narratives. The project began with participatory research, moved into in-studio exploration through acting and storytelling workshops, and culminated with a theatrical outcome and short documentary film tracing the creative process through in-studio recordings, video diaries and group interviews.
The work has presented as part of the Montreal Life Stories March 2012 "We Are Here" programme — a month-long series of events that will include workshops, exhibitions, performances, screenings, and the international conference “Beyond Testimony and Trauma: Oral History in the Aftermath of Mass Violence.” It has also been the subject of an artist panel, "Imagining Cambodia Conference", hosted by Southern Illinois University.