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Michelle Caswell

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Classifying Khmer Rouge Genocide: Archival Description, Ethnic Identity and Accountability
Michelle Caswell

Archives without borders
August, 31st 2010
Peace Palace, The Hague

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Michelle Caswell

  1. 1. Classifying Khmer Rouge Genocide: Archival Description, Ethnic Identity, and Accountability Michelle Caswell [email_address]
  2. 2. <ul><li>“ Classification systems are often sites of political and social struggles, but these sites are difficult to approach. Politically and socially charged agendas are often first presented as purely technical and they are difficult even to see. As layers of classification system become enfolded into a working infrastructure, the original political intervention becomes more and more firmly entrenched. In many cases, this leads to a naturalization of the political category, through a process of convergence. It becomes taken for granted.” </li></ul><ul><li>--Geoffrey C. Bowker and Susan Leigh Star </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><ul><ul><li>“ Every representation, every model of description, is biased because it reflects a particular world-view and is constructed to meet specific purposes. No representation can be complete. The representer's value system… is the final arbitrator on the content of a representation. Each archivist must decide what information about which records to highlight; what transitory data to capture and make visible. When describing records archivists will remember certain aspects and hide or forget others.” </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>--Verne Harris and Wendy Duff </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><ul><ul><li>“ The acts of genocide, which have no statute of limitations, mean any acts committed with the intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial, or religious group as such: </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>killing members of the group; </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group; </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part; </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>imposing measure to prevent births within the group; </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>forcibly transferring children from one group to another group” </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>--ECCC </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 8. <ul><li>“ The inclusion of the term ‘ethnic identity’ itself is enough to remind scholars and legal experts that such discrimination took place and generate debate about the crime of genocide.” </li></ul><ul><li>--Youk Chhang, DC-Cam </li></ul>
  6. 9. <ul><li>Thank you! </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>

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