Our mission is to promote, to share and to transmit Cambodian history and civilisation to Cambodians of all ages, to diasporas who share similar experiences and to communities from all parts of the world.
INFORM people about Cambodian history and civilisation
COLLECT lived accounts of Khmer memory
PROMOTE Khmer heritage to all generations of Cambodians
REATTACH the threads of multiple identities of Cambodians all over the world
In Cambodia, “when an old person dies, the whole history of the country dies with them”. Since the genocide, with the loss of libraries and other written archives, oral histories have become all the more important. The spoken word is at the heart of transmission, both historical transmission and transmission within the family.
As part of Montreal Life Stories, 61 oral accounts were gathered from members of Montreal’s Cambodian community, who have been arriving in this city since the beginning of the 1980s. These oral accounts were given by that first generation of community members as well as by their children and make up a total of 202 hours of recording, the longest interview lasting 15 hours. Extracts from these oral accounts are available on our website.
The Centre Khemara is an intercultural meeting point promoting workshops and events about Cambodian history and civilisation – languages, visual art, architecture, dance, music, cuisine, audio-visual projects and others.
Several members of the Angkorian Community of Canada (CAC), a non-profit organization created in 1996, joined in 2007 the Montreal Life Stories project of the Community-Research-Alliance (CURA) in collaboration with Concordia University for over a 5 years period. From this fruitful partnership, beginning 2011, the Cambodian Working Group founded The Centre Khemara, Khmer History and Civilisation organization.
The future centre will be the primary location for holding precious objects, written documents, audio and video archives, and visual materials -chiefly culture related articles. Access will be provided to these assets for local and international Khmer community, researchers and practitioners, students, artists and anyone else with an interest in Khmer Culture and History.
Khemara's officers are an interesting mix of talented, motivated and hard working individuals from Cambodian origin, Canadian origin and others, with a diverse backgrounds from diplomatic, journalism, medical, engineering and academia.
Testimonies… We will continue to collect them in Montreal, but we will also enlarge our radius throughout Quebec and Canada, as well as the rest of the world where Cambodian diaspora can be found.
Archives… You are our memory: please don’t hesitate to share your stories and personal archive with us. It is an inestimable link for transmission of knowledge to future generations.
Partners… We need you to build Khemara’s present and to strengthen its future. Your help in all form is welcome: donations, legacies, volunteering, associations and financial contributions.
You are our memory: tell us your story... Join us!