This year marks four decades since the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime.  While the history of that era is known and documented, the individual experiences of the Cambodian people who lived through the regime are less widely discussed. 

The three speakers participating in this discussion have worked in different ways to capture the memories of their countrymen to ensure the past is remembered and considered in the future.  Kim Hak, Man Hau Liev and Niborom Young will consider the importance of a continued transmission of knowledge to younger generations and the ways in which material culture can offer tangible connections to the past.  This panel will be chaired by Objectspace Director, Kim Paton.

Booking is free but required here. Hospitality will be provided.

Kim Hak was born in Battambang city, two years after the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime and he grew up listening to his parent’s memories of that time. Now, he uses his art practice to raise awareness of this country’s past – to remember, reclaim and reinterpret Cambodian social history from before, during and after the Khmer Rouge era.

Man Hau Liev has dedicated his professional career to the betterment of refugees as Senior Lecturer at AUT’s Centre for Refugee Education.  He arrived in New Zealand in 1980 and brings his personal experience as a refugee to his work and research.  Man Hau Liev has written and published various articles and research papers related to the resettlement of refugees from Cambodia, Ethiopia, Kosovo, Laos, and Vietnam. He received a PhD from the University of Auckland in 2009.

Niborom Young was born in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. In 1974 she arrived in New Zealand as a Colombo Plan student. Her journey became one-way after the Khmer Rouge closed Cambodia to the outside world in 1975. Several years passed before she was able to return, working for international aid agencies in refugee camps on the Thai–Cambodian border during the final stages of the war that had cost her so much.  She now lives in Wellington and is the author of I Tried Not to Cry: The journeys of ten Cambodian refugee women.

Alive, Kim Hak, 2019, Refugee box in the survivor’s hands

Kim Hak, Alive, 2019, Soup Pot and Shirt