USAID Supports New Project to Help Heal Effects of Violence through Art

The U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) announced this morning its support for "Phka Sla Krom Angkar" - an innovative and creative dance project that promotes peace and reconciliation throughout Cambodia by the artistic depiction of gender-based violence under the Khmer Rouge, pointed out a press release of the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh.

This project is managed by a consortium of four Cambodian organisations: the Khmer Arts Academy (KAA); Kdei Karuna (KdK); the Bophana Center; and the Transcultural Psychological Organisation (TPO), it said.

"USAID's support to Phka Sla Krom Angkar underscores the U.S. government's commitment to helping encourage national reconciliation in Cambodia through the remembrance of the Khmer Rouge period," said USAID Cambodia Mission Director Ms. Polly Dunford. "Remembering the crimes of the past is important but finding a way for society to move forward and make new, positive memories is vital."

According to the press release, USAID's support will fund theatrical performances, oral history presentations, community dialogues, and mobile exhibitions. Together with other development partners, USAID and the consortium hope to raise public awareness throughout Cambodia on the impact of gender-based violence on contemporary society.

Phka Sla Krom Angkar aims to address the harm suffered by those who were forced into marriage and subjected to sexual and gender-based violence by the Khmer Rouge. The programme is a service that aims to help heal the survivors of the Khmer Rouge's forced marriages and is associated with the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia (ECCC). The ECCC is currently trying the crimes against humanity and war crimes alleged against the most senior living leaders of the Khmer Rouge regime.

Source: Agency Kampuchea Press