The Victim-Former Khmer Rouge (VFKR) dialogue pilot project, a collaboration project between the International Center for Conciliation (ICfC) and the Transcultural Psychosocial Organization (TPO), aimed to rebuild and understand the fragmented relationship between victims and their direct perpetrators. While calls have been made for reconciliation from the Cambodian government, victims often wish to receive acknowledgement and an apology from their direct perpetrators. For perpetrators, overcoming cultural obstacles that hinder even the acknowledgement of crimes make an apology difficult to achieve. Because of the sensitivities and difficulties in initiating a dialogue between victims and perpetrators, this project and videos explore the possibilities of reconciliation at the community level within the Cambodian context.
The Cambodian outreach version aims to inspire dialogue among local Cambodian communities about their role in finding justice, healing, and reconciliation. During the Khmer Rouge period, many Cambodians lost their sense of agency and control over the direction of their own lives. Unfortunately, this feeling continued beyond the rule of the Khmer Rouge as the country attempted to rebuild itself by hushing up discussion of the past in order to stop the ongoing civil war. Many Cambodians today still transfer the responsibility of reconciliation to outside parties, especially the government, and often also believe that local reconciliation between victims and perpetrators is impossible. Without even a basic understanding between these groups, future generations are left unable to answer how Khmers could kill Khmers or why the war happened, consequently hindering efforts to prevent future conflict.
Implemented in partnership with the International Center for Conciliation of Cambodia (ICFC) and the Transcultural Psychosocial Organization of Cambodia (TPO).