Geographies of Reparation
This seminar reflects on reparation as a geographical concern. It considers a specific case of reparation – that arising from a current internationalised criminal tribunal in Cambodia – in light of the recent reparation zeitgeist. Reparative actions from 2019 alone include the French state’s compensation of Holocaust victims for deportations from France, US Congress hearings on reparation for slavery, a University of Glasgow pay out for historical profiting from slavery, and ongoing reparative failure in Australia (and especially Victoria) vis-à-vis the historical injustices experienced by Indigenous Australians. Working on a smaller scale, the seminar will trace the ‘projectisation’ of reparation at Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge Tribunal, which is characterised by a proliferation of creative arts-based measures that seek to acknowledge the harm experienced by victims of historical crimes in Cambodia. It will be shown how the very concept of reparation, the capacity of art and artmaking practice to afford a sense of justice, and the role of state and non-state actors, are all open questions in relation to reparation in our times (and places).
Dr Rachel Hughes, School of Geography, University of Melbourne
Dr Rachel Hughes
School of Geography, University of Melbourne
Rachel is an ARC DECRA Fellow who works at the interface of legal, political, historical, development and cultural geography! She is interested in questions of public memory and museums, geopolitics, ‘transitional justice’ and visual and material cultures, especially in relation to Cambodia after the Khmer Rouge regime (19751979). Most recently, she has coauthored a book with Dr Candice Boyd, titled Emotion and the Contemporary Museum: a geographically informed approach (Palgrave 2020).