Shifting Technologies, Mines, & Rituals of Relatedness: A Multimedia Montage of Post-war Cambodia and Laos

Conference: AAS-in-Asia2020 (AAS-in-Asia2020)
Title: Shifting Technologies, Mines, & Rituals of Relatedness: A Multimedia Montage of Post-war Cambodia and Laos
Stream: Anthropology
Presentation Type: Panel Presentation
Authors:
Lisa Arensen, The School for Field Studies Center for Environmental Research in Conservation and Development, Cambodia (organizer, presenter, chair, discussant)
Sakada Sokhoeun, Siem Reap Provincial Department of Environment, Cambodia (presenter)
Leah Zani, University of California, Irvine, United States (presenter)
Darcie D'Angelo, College of Holy Cross, United States (presenter)
Natalie Condon, The School for Field Studies Center for Environmental Research in Conservation and Development, Cambodia (presenter)
Samraksa Seang, The School for Field Studies Center for Environmental Research in Conservation and Development, Cambodia (presenter)

Abstract:

In the post-conflict nations of Cambodia and Laos, globalizing forces of economic development and efforts at recovery often occur simultaneously. This session on these two nations in the contemporary moment blends film, photograph, and narrative in a multimedia montage of the varied physical, ecological and social forces at play in these rapidly changing Southeast Asian contexts. Anthropologist Leah Zani will examine development and ongoing violence in daily life in Laos. Her case study investigates parallel accounts of economic progress and ghostly violence at the Sepon Gold Mine. Khmer archaeologist Sakada Sokhoeun will present a narrated photographic essay of the roads on Kulen mountain in northern Cambodia to highlight these critical conduits of goods, people, and vehicles to Cambodia’s most sacred site. Visual anthropologist Darcie DeAngelo’s presentation is a multiscreen exhibition with three videos that shift the point of view from human to animal, juxtaposing moments from Cambodian minefields. The montage illuminates how religion, agriculture, and minefields are more ecologically entangled than we imagine. Anthropologist Lisa Arensen’s article explores the enduring role of the village midwife in the increasingly medicalized context of birth on Kulen Mountain. She will demonstrate that amidst medical pluralism, women continue to engage with midwives to reduce their cosmological and metaphysical vulnerability. Two junior scholars, Seang Samraksa and Natalie Condon will co-present a paper exploring shifting notions of gendered courtship in Cambodia. Their work illustrates how various generations of village youth have embodied iterations of masculinities and femininities under fluctuating conditions of conflict, mobility, and development.