Victoria Huynh attends 2019 International Association for Genocide Scholars Conference
With an $800 funding grant from INTS, Victoria Huynh traveled to Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, Cambodia. She reports: “As a result of my conversations with Khmer women activists, queer activists, diasporas, Khmer-Exiled Americans and anti-carceral activists, I was able to manifest a letters project entitled ‘Decolonizing Khmer Women’s Resistance’ which recorded the sentiments and letters of Khmer women both in Cambodia and in the diaspora in resistance to institutions of power that uphold colonialist and imperialist legacies. The series of letters, themselves, made up the ‘decolonial’ act of reconciling the words of diasporas/individuals of Khmer descent around the world– written to one another, for one another, while addressing the global audience, thus breaking down borders imposed on us by our colonizers. At the CKS Center in Siem Reap, I was able to present my project to an audience of Khmer scholars and locals. I aim to continue the project through the meaningful relationships and conversations I was able to engage with there, as well as the Khmer diaspora I’ve been able to meet through my peers in the CKS program.
“At the IAGS Conference, in my own presentation entitled ‘Locating the Cambodian American Woman’s Voice’, I was able to present on the pressing concerns of the criminalization of Cambodian American women and their experiences’ intersections with the U.S.-sanctioned deportations of Cambodian Americans. As an undergraduate in a graduate-level space, I was humbled and empowered to be able to say what I needed to say, in a space where my critique of U.S. empire and the racialized and gendered processes migrants endure may be heard.”
“A meaningful bonus, I was able to connect with former SUA Alumni Socheth Sok (℅ 2006) and was able to meet with prospective SUA students from Cambodia. Ultimately, because of all of the above opportunities, I was able to challenge my discursive knowledge by learning from the anti-capitalist activism of Khmer women, survivors, and diasporas. I am determined even more so to challenge institutions of power, as I am even more so inspired by the activism of our local communities centered on their lived experiences.”