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Current Projects

Isadora Helfgott and Nicole Crawford

Museums and Reconciliation in Cambodia: A Cross Cultural Collaboration between UW and the Sleuk Rith Institute

Funded Projects, February 2014

Researcher(s): Isadora Helfgott and Nicole Crawford
Department(s): History and Art Museum

WIHR Research Presentation: Wednesday, April 1 at 3:10 p.m. in Classroom 215

With generous support from a WIHR grant, Crawford and Helfgott traveled to Cambodia  in January, 2015, to conduct the first stage of an ongoing collaboration between UW and the Sleuk Rith Institute in Cambodia. They consulted with Museum of Memory staff on the long-term development of the museum and how staff and students from UW can contribute to exhibition and museum planning going forward. Crawford and Helfgott will report on the evolution of the project in the wake of their initial trip. They will consider issues such as the role of cultural institutions in post-conflict reconciliation, obstacles to international museum work, cross-disciplinary museum issues, cultural heritage concerns of display and education, and the goals of the collaboration as they plan for an on-site training program in historical research and curatorial practice in Phnom Penh.


The project is a three-stage collaboration with the Sleuk Rith Institute in Cambodia, the leading organization for commemoration and remembrance of atrocities committed under the Khmer Rouge. In phase one Dr. Helfgott and Ms. Crawford will provide on-site collaboration and training in historical research and curatorial practice to support a permanent Museum of Memory consisting of a central museum in Siem Reap and 24 provincial museums throughout Cambodia. Phase two will create a study abroad class on genocide and historical memory bringing UW students to Cambodia to work on research and exhibition development for the Museum of Memory. Phase three will present an exhibition of documentary material and cultural artifacts from Cambodia at UW and include a symposium where UW students and faculty will present alongside experts from Cambodia. The project will begin a long-term collaboration between UW and the Sleuk Rith Institute involving faculty from multiple units and visiting scholars from Cambodia.


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