“Landscapes of Trauma” is an audio-visual essay about the province of Kep, Cambodia and its inherited built environment. Unique to this region are a series of modernist villas, which were constructed over a twenty-year period, 1955-1975, after independence from French Colonial rule, and then destroyed or abandoned following the Khmer Rouge Genocide. My aim is to highlight the remarkable value of Kep’s modernist villas as repositories of the nation’s recent history. Through archival research and visual documentation, I have tried to situate them in a wider social and historical context to show how Cambodia’s colonial legacy, nationalist identity and aspirations, conflict and trauma are materialized in the built environment.
Landscapes of Trauma – The Legacy and Future of the Abandoned Modernist Villas of Kep, Cambodia
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