Title

Through the Dark Jungle: One Family's Escape from Cambodia (an Oral History)

Location

2077

Format Type

Paper

Format Type

Paper

Start Date

14-1-2017 1:10 PM

End Date

14-1-2017 2:30 PM

Abstract

My paper, “Through the Dark Jungle: One Family’s Escape From Cambodia,” is an oral history detailing the account of one family’s indoctrination into the Khumer Rouge’s brutal work camps during the Cambodian Civil War in the 1970’s. The piece explores the separation of the family members, as well as their eventual escape from the country and reuniting. During the inquiry, I wanted to know what the family’s experiences were like and how they managed to survive and remain together—but I also wanted to document their story in writing to prevent it from being lost over time. Without the opportunity to analyze primary documents (which were discarded when the family fled), I relied on interviewing four of the family members separately on several occasions using open-ended questioning and analyzed the data using constant comparative methods. I discovered that the family members lived in constant fear, benefited from community support, adapted to conditions, followed orders, and took risks when necessary for survival. To make sense of what I learned, I examined genocide survivors’ literature and psychology and learned that such traits displayed by the family-adaptability, following orders, help from strangers, calculated risk taking—were reoccurring themes among survivors of genocides.

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Jan 14th, 1:10 PM Jan 14th, 2:30 PM

Through the Dark Jungle: One Family's Escape from Cambodia (an Oral History)

2077

My paper, “Through the Dark Jungle: One Family’s Escape From Cambodia,” is an oral history detailing the account of one family’s indoctrination into the Khumer Rouge’s brutal work camps during the Cambodian Civil War in the 1970’s. The piece explores the separation of the family members, as well as their eventual escape from the country and reuniting. During the inquiry, I wanted to know what the family’s experiences were like and how they managed to survive and remain together—but I also wanted to document their story in writing to prevent it from being lost over time. Without the opportunity to analyze primary documents (which were discarded when the family fled), I relied on interviewing four of the family members separately on several occasions using open-ended questioning and analyzed the data using constant comparative methods. I discovered that the family members lived in constant fear, benefited from community support, adapted to conditions, followed orders, and took risks when necessary for survival. To make sense of what I learned, I examined genocide survivors’ literature and psychology and learned that such traits displayed by the family-adaptability, following orders, help from strangers, calculated risk taking—were reoccurring themes among survivors of genocides.