Archives par mot-clé : Agent Orange

Vietnam : l’agent orange scruté in situ

[ndlr] Signalement d’une mission de terrain sur la guerre chimique pendant la guerre du Viêt-Nam et l’utilisation massive des pesticides aujourd’hui. Cette enquête soulevant de question sanitaires, historiques et sociales encore très sensibles est menée par Charles Sultan, endocrinologue pédiatrique, et Pierre Journoud, historien, professeur à l’Université Paul Valéry Montpellier.

Quarante-trois ans après la fin de la plus importante guerre chimique du XXe siècle, une mission de terrain inédite s’apprête à enquêter sur l’impact sanitaire de l’herbicide, qui a contaminé entre 2 et 5 millions de personnes. Mais aussi sur les pesticides encore utilisés.

Le projet n’a pas d’équivalent : une équipe scientifique pluridisciplinaire va enquêter en Asie du Sud-Est sur les conséquences de l’épandage de l’agent orange, défoliant employé par les États-Unis durant la guerre du Vietnam, et sur les effets aujourd’hui des pesticides utilisés par l’agriculture dans la région. Le dossier de cette mission d’expertise sera déposé ce jeudi pour validation à la Maison des sciences de l’homme de Montpellier, où sont basés la grande majorité des scientifiques, praticiens et professeurs investis dans cette recherche clinique. Après le verdict historique rendu en août dans l’affaire du jardinier américain Dewayne Johnson contre le géant de l’agrochimie Monsanto (jadis producteur de l’agent orange et aujourd’hui du glyphosate), les résultats de l’enquête sont très attendus.

Lire la suite : Libération, 24/10/2018. (Arnaud Vaulerin)

Dien Luong : 55 Years After Agent Orange Was Used In Vietnam, One Of Its Creators Is Thriving Here

[ndlr] Une enquête à lire sur le Huffington Post.

 

55 Years After Agent Orange Was Used In Vietnam, One Of Its Creators Is Thriving Here

Monsanto is expanding in a country it once helped destroy.

HO CHI MINH CITY, Vietnam ― Fifty-five years ago this month, the U.S. Army began spraying millions of gallons of the toxic defoliant known as Agent Orange over large swaths of southern Vietnam. Today, however, instead of resentment and isolation from the U.S., the country is awash with Americanophilia.

Ho Chi Minh City, once the capital of the U.S.-backed regime under the name of Saigon, is now teeming with McDonald’s and Starbucks businesses. The present economic hub of Vietnam also boasts an increase in Apple stores, which see their clientele anxiously waiting for the debut of the latest iPhones and are often considered by many here as an emblem of chic Americanization. And with a large portion of the population of more than 90 million born after 1975 (the year the war ended), the masses tend to look forward to the future rather than dwell on the bitter past with the Americans.

But this Americanization and what it ushers in, including the expansion of companies like biotech giant Monsanto, risks burying the history of Agent Orange that is alleged to have resulted in the deaths and injuries of hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese.

Lire la suite : Huffington Post, 30/08/2016.

 

Brenda M. Boyle and Jeehyun Lim, eds.: Looking Back on the Vietnam War – Twenty-First Century Perspectives

[ndlr] Parution d’un ouvrage collectif dans lequel les perspectives vietnamiennes sont prépondérantes. Présentation de l’éditeur.

LookingBackOnTheVietnamWarMore than forty years have passed since the official end of the Vietnam War, yet the war’s legacies endure. Its history and iconography still provide fodder for film and fiction, communities of war refugees have spawned a wide Vietnamese diaspora, and the United States military remains embroiled in unwinnable wars with eerie echoes of Vietnam.

Looking Back on the Vietnam War brings together scholars from a broad variety of disciplines, who offer fresh insights on the war’s psychological, economic, artistic, political, and environmental impacts. Each essay examines a different facet of the war, from its representation in Marvel comic books to the experiences of Vietnamese soldiers exposed to Agent Orange. By putting these pieces together, the contributors assemble an expansive yet nuanced composite portrait of the war and its global legacies.

Though they come from diverse scholarly backgrounds, ranging from anthropology to film studies, the contributors are united in their commitment to original research. Whether exploring rare archives or engaging in extensive interviews, they voice perspectives that have been excluded from standard historical accounts. Looking Back on the Vietnam War thus embarks on an interdisciplinary and international investigation to discover what we remember about the war, how we remember it, and why.

Contributors

Brenda Boyle, Jeehyun Lim, Yen Le Espiritu, Quan Tue Tran, Viet Thanh Nguyen, Lan Duong, Vinh Nguyen, Robert Mason, Leonie Jones, Heonik Kwon, Diane Niblack Fox, Cathy Schlund-Vials

Table Of Contents

Chronology

Note on the Text

Introduction: Looking Back at the Vietnam War / Brenda M. Boyle and Jeehyun Lim

  • Chapter 1: Vietnamese Refugees and Internet Memorials: When Does War End and Who Gets to Decide? / Yên Lê Espiritu
  • Chapter 2: Broken, but Not Forsaken: Disabled South Vietnamese Veterans in Vietnam and the Vietnamese Diaspora / Quan Tue Tran
  • Chapter 3: What Is Vietnamese American Literature? / Viet Thanh Nguyen
  • Chapter 4: Viet Nam and the Diaspora: Absence, Presence, and the Archive / Lan Duong
  • Chapter 5: Liberal Humanitarianism and Post–Cold War Cultural Politics: The Case of Le Ly Hayslip / Jeehyun Lim
  • Chapter 6: Ann Hui’s Boat People: Documenting Vietnamese Refugees in Hong Kong / Vinh Nguyen
  • Chapter 7: “The Deep Black Hole”: Vietnam in the Memories of Australian Veterans and Refugees / Robert Mason and Leonie Jones
  • Chapter 8: Missing Bodies and Homecoming Spirits / Heonik Kwon
  • Chapter 9: Agent Orange: Toxic Chemical, Narrative of Suffering, Metaphor for War / Diane Niblack Fox
  • Chapter 10: Re-Seeing Cambodia and Recollecting The ’Nam: A Vertiginous Critique of the Military Sublime / Cathy J. Schlund-Vials
  • Chapter 11: Naturalizing War: The Stories We Tell about the Vietnam War / Brenda M. Boyle

Appendix A: Archives

Appendix B: Publications since 2000

Notes on Contributors

Index

Source : Rutgers University Press

Guerre du Vietnam: l’agent orange, un héritage empoisonné [photos]

[ndlr] Au delà des commémorations du 30 avril 1975, reportage photographique de Damir Sagolj sur les conséquences effroyables de l’Agent orange. Attention certaines photos peuvent heurter la sensibilité des lecteurs.

30 avril 2015 : 40e anniversaire de la fin du de la guerre du Vietnam. Pendant dix ans (1961-1971), les Etats-Unis ont déversé sur les campagnes de ce pays 80 millions de litres d’agent orange, un herbicide extrêmement toxique contenant près de 400 kilos de dioxine, produit par les entreprises Monsanto et Dow Chemical.

Dans-province-Quang-Binh-au-centre-Vietnam_0
Do Duc Diu a aménagé à côté de sa maison un cimetière pour pouvoir se recueillir sur les tombes de ses enfants. Mais il aura attendu 1994 et la naissance de sa dernière fille, handicapée comme ses deux sœurs, pour qu’il connaisse ​les réels dangers de l’agent orange. Auparavant, sa femme et lui consultaient de nombreux chefs spirituels, car ils croyaient en une malédiction. © Reuters/Damir Sagolj

Lire la suite : FranceTVinfo (Géopolis – Laurent Filippi, 28/04/2015). Directement sur le site de Damir Sagolj

Voir aussi :

Thi-Hien Tran et Pierric Le Neveu: Vietnam – 40 ans après la victoire contre les Américains – Impressions de voyage

ReportageVietNam2014[ndlr] Voici un reportage à vif de Tran Thi Hien sur son pays natal. Celle qui « a fermé les yeux pendant des années » par affection pour les siens et sa terre offre un tableau saisissant du Viêt-Nam communiste tout en expliquant ce qui a motivé son nouvel engagement pour une évolution politique pacifique. A lire sur Mediapart.

Embarquement à Roissy, ce 21 août 2014, pour un voyage de quatre semaines au Vietnam. Atterrissage à Ho Chi Minh-Ville et correspondance vers Da Nang où nous attendent mes anciens camarades d’études en Pologne pour quelques jours de partage de souvenirs et d’excursions… Puis nous avons continué notre route vers le Nord, parcourant 2 500 kilomètres en train via Hue, Dong Hoi, Thanh Hoa, Ninh Binh, Ha Noi, Ha Giang, Dong Van, Hai Phong, et Ha Long, en profitant de séjours d’un à trois jours à chacune de ces étapes.

Pierric a rédigé fin septembre un compte-rendu de voyage lié à nos actions en faveur des victimes de l’Agent Orange à Thanh Hoa qu’il a publié sur le site du FaAOD — www.faaod.fr — et sur les pages des réseaux sociaux qu’il abonde. Je tenais, de mon côté, à partager un ressenti un peu différent, tant avec mes amis « proches » du Vietnam qu’avec tous ceux qui envisagent d’aller un jour visiter mon pays natal.

Je voudrais leur dire que malgré le bonheur de fouler la terre de mes ancêtres, j’ai souffert de constater un sentiment d’injustice affectant de plus en plus profondément tous ceux que nous avons rencontrés. Je comprends que la politique du pays est subie et souvent sujette à caution, qu’elle ne semble plus être en phase avec les aspirations du peuple, qu’elle reste floue, et que, malgré l’émergence d’une classe moyenne, les riches deviennent de plus en plus riches et les pauvres de plus en plus pauvres.

Le Vietnam est gouverné par un parti unique. Les médias dépendent de l’État, l’éducation nationale et les programmes scolaires sont définis par le gouvernement ; les représentants de l’état, la police et l’armée, sont omniprésents dans la vie de tous les jours de chaque citoyen qui peut être amené à rendre compte de ses actes à tout moment.

J’ai ressenti, plus particulièrement cette année, un mécontentement généralisé à tous les niveaux de la société. C’est le cas, pour commencer, des anciens combattants qui ont risqué leur vie contre l’armée américaine, qui n’en sont pas toujours revenus indemnes et qui n’oublient pas le sacrifice de leurs camarades, les victimes civiles, la destruction de leur environnement et la perte de leurs maigres biens. Quarante ans après la fin de la guerre, ils ne reconnaissent, ni les visions de l’oncle Ho, ni l’engagement et les promesses du parti qui les a façonnés. Comme s’ils pensaient : « tout ça pour ça »…

Les jeunes voudraient plus de liberté ; les intellectuels (écrivains, avocats, professeurs d’université…) réclament de pouvoir exercer sans contrainte leur métier ; les ouvriers aspirent à davantage de justice sociale face aux patrons qui les exploitent ; les paysans rêvent d’une vie moins pénible et de ne pas courir le risque de se voir confisquer leurs terres pour des grands travaux ou des complexes immobiliers qui ne les concernent pas…

La vie des citoyens vietnamiens est de fait complètement « encadrée » dans une société rongée par la corruption.

Lire la suite sur Mediapart, 24/11/2014.

Article complet en PDF.

Post-Vietnam military herbicide exposures in UC-123 Agent Orange spray aircraft

[ndlr] La question de la toxicité sur le long terme de l’Agent orange est de nouveau d’actualité avec la publication d’une nouvelle étude scientifique publiée dans la revue Environmental Research. Résumé (article en accès réservé).

AgentOrange

Graphical abstract

During the Vietnam War, approximately 20 million gallons of herbicides, including ~10.5 million gallons of dioxin-contaminated Agent Orange, were sprayed by about 34 UC-123 aircraft subsequently used by the United States Air Force Reserves (~1971-1982) without decontamination. After many years without monitoring, tests revealed the presence of dioxin. All but three aircraft were smelted in 2009. Current Air Force and Department of Veterans Affairs policies stipulate that « dried residues » of chemical herbicides and dioxin in the post-Vietnam war use of the aircraft had not lead to meaningful exposures to flight crew and maintenance personnel, who are thus ineligible for Agent Orange-related benefits or medical examinations and treatment. We used three complementary approaches for modeling potential exposures to dioxin in these aircraft, based on the sparse monitoring data available, and found the body-burden for dermal-oral exposure for flight crew and maintainers exceeded existing guidelines. The surface wipe samples taken by the Air Force exceeded Army screening level guidelines. Two models show that the surface residues led to airborne contamination and dioxin dust adsorption. Thus inhalation, ingestion and skin absorption in aircrew and maintainers were likely to have occurred during post-Vietnam use of the aircraft. Current Air Force and Department of Veterans Affairs policies are not consistent with the available industrial hygiene measurements or with widely accepted models for semivolatile organic compounds like dioxin.

  • Ref. : Peter A. Lurker, Fred Berman, Richard W. Clapp, Jeanne Mager Stellman, « Post-Vietnam military herbicide exposures in UC-123 Agent Orange spray aircraft », Environmental Research, Volume 130, April 2014, Pages 34–42.

Source : Science Direct

Pour en soir plus :

Hadès, la mécanique orange [documentaire 2012]

[ndlr] Message de Richard Pottier.

NguyenThiVon_AgentOrange
Nguyen Thi Von, originaire de la province de Ninh Binh, partie en 1965 sur le front de guerre à l’âge de 16 ans. Engagée pour construire les premières portions de la Piste Ho Chi Minh.

L’Institut d’ethnologie de Strasbourg est fier de vous recommander cet excellent reportage sur les ravages de l’agent orange au Vietnam réalisé en 2012 (tournage en 2011), dont l’un des deux réalisateurs, Caroline Delerue, est actuellement étudiante de l’Université de Strasbourg (Licence d’ethnologie, enseignement à distance).

Hadès, la mécanique orange
(reportage sur les ravages de l’agent orange au Vietnam)

Film 26 mn de Caroline Delerue et Maël Lê-Hurand

Sélection aux Festivals:

  • Traces de vie, Clermont-Ferrand 2012
  • Film Nature et de l’environnement, Mûrs-Érigné 2012

Synopsis

Entre 1961 et 1971, l’armée américaine a procédé à des épandages massifs de défoliants sur le Vietnam, essentiellement de l’« agent orange » qui contenait de la dioxine, un produit chimique particulièrement toxique. Plus de 40 ans après, les conséquences sont toujours terribles pour la population et l’environnement.

Le Viêt-Nam est aujourd’hui un pays en plein boom économique. Au-delà des paysages idylliques et des motos qui envahissent les villes, il y a l’envers du décor et le passé qui ressurgit. Ce film nous plonge dans l’univers de ces victimes, l’exclusion sociale qui en découle et la situation du handicap dans le pays.

Portrait d’une génération qui n’a pas connu la guerre mais qui en subit encore les conséquences. (enquête et tournage effectués en 2011).

Réalisation / Image : Caroline Delerue et Maël Lê-Hurand
Montage : Mauro Bellanova
Post-production : Caroline Delerue
Son / Photo : Fabien Jouanique

Année de production : 2012

Durée : 26 mn

Pierric Le Neveu : Vietnam – après un homicide à la dioxine, un écocide aux OGM

[ndlr] Un constat alarmant. A lire.

Des centaines de milliers de victimes de l’Agent Orange/Dioxine utilisé par l’armée américaine pendant la guerre du Vietnam, leurs familles et leur descendance, dont beaucoup survivent en marge de la société dans des conditions extrêmement difficiles, un peu plus de 50 ans après les premiers épandages, ont cruellement besoin d’aide !

L’Agent Orange est un herbicide dont la population vietnamienne, ainsi que les descendants de vétérans américains victimes des épandages aériens effectués de 1961 à 1971 pendant la guerre du Vietnam, subissent encore les effets sous forme de handicaps monstrueux atteignant les troisième et, maintenant, quatrième générations… Or, des herbicides et des pesticides, commercialisés par les multinationales qui ont conçu et fabriqué l’Agent Orange, terriblement agressifs contre la nature et la santé des populations, sont aujourd’hui utilisés partout dans le monde et contaminent jusqu’au contenu de nos assiettes..!

Lire la suite : La Revue des Ressources, 13/01/2014.

Jeunes victimes de l’Agent orange, 40 ans après la guerre

[ndlr] Le Daily Mail vient de mettre en ligne un reportage photographique sur les victimes actuelles de l’agent orange, le défoliant déversé par l’armée américaine il y a plus de quarante ans. Voici la troisième génération de victimes… Les photographies sont de Brian Driscoll.

AgentOrangeVictimNguyenPham
Third generation Agent Orange victim Nguyen Pham, 11, deaf, blind and cannot speak has been bed ridden for a great portion of his life. © Brian Driscoll

Generation Orange: Heartbreaking portraits of Vietnamese children suffering from devastating effects of toxic herbicide sprayed by US Army 40 years ago

They were born decades after American forces had sprayed the herbicide dioxin Agent Orange in South Vietnam, but some children living in the region today continue to suffer from the horrifying effects of the chemical.

New York City-based photographer Brian Driscoll traveled to Vietnam to document the everyday struggles of third generation Agent Orange victims battling dozens of serious ailments, physical deformities and mental disorders.

Driscoll was inspired to take up this difficult topic by his uncle, a Vietnam War veteran who may have been one of estimated 2.6 million U.S. soldiers believed to have been exposed to Agent Orange in the 1960s.

Read more: Daily Mail, 25/08/2013.

Haunted Landscapes and Ambiguous Memories: Interactions with the Past in Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia [2010]

Haunted Landscapes and Ambiguous Memories: Interactions with the Past in Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia.
Convenors: Dr Oliver Tappe, Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle and Dr Vatthana Pholsena, Research Fellow, Institut d’Asie Orientale, Lyon.

[Panel EUROSEAS Aug. 2010]

Historical experiences of war and revolution have left visible traces in the landscapes of mainland Southeast Asia. In particular, war-ridden landscapes of Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia are sites of contested and ambiguous memory. While the two Indochina Wars entailed scars both on peoples and places, experiments of orthodox socialism such as forced collectivization contributed to the character of the region as a topographic and demographic palimpsest. Lao, Vietnamese and Cambodian landscapes represent different historical layers and bear inscriptions of competing ideologies. From prisons and battlefields to re-education camps and resettled villages: 20th century history confronts people with manifold lieux de mémoire telling about sorrow and violence. The past lingers on in the physical, often ruined environment as well as in precarious objects such as unexploded ordnance.

Studies in the anthropology of landscape have discussed how people shape landscapes and landscapes shape people in an interactive cultural process. The transformative power of human activity on the physical environment is related to the power of the landscape generating affects on people. Landscapes can be considered as representations of cultural memory and mark the nexus of past, present and future. Both as meaning producing spatial forms and contested discursive sites of memory, landscapes influence imaginings of past experiences and visions of the future. Radical alterations of the physical environment – be it by large-scale bombing or the flooding of a hydropower dam site – thus affect traditional livelihoods as well as individual mental states. The understanding of everyday social life is inseparable from its cultural and physical surroundings.

In our panel we would like to examine how people interact with sites of traumatic or violent memory. Vietnamese landscapes contaminated by Agent Orange, the haunted killing fields of Cambodia and the Lao highlands scattered with cluster bombs are prominent examples of memorial landscapes as inhabited and constantly re-envisioned. The following questions shall be addressed: How do these landscapes affect the population and shape discourses of identity and memory? What are the people’s coping strategies in order to carry on living in brutally transformed and ruined landscapes that are also sites of haunting, traumatic memories? How do official historiographies try to occupy and define landscapes of memory? How do memories of suffering and displacement correlate with tendencies of making sites of memory available for tourist consumption?

We invite scholars to tackle and discuss these questions at the intersection between history and anthropology. By looking at how people and ‘violent’ landscapes interact, this panel attempts at giving new insights with regard to Southeast Asian memory discourses.

Panel proposal by:

  • Dr. Oliver Tappe, Research fellow, Max Planck Institute for Social Anthropology, Halle (Germany) tappe@eth.mpg.de
  • Dr. Vatthana Pholsena, Research fellow, Institut d’Asie Orientale, Lyon (France) vatthana.pholsena@ens-lyon.fr

* * *

Sacrifice, Heroism and the construction of a revolutionary lieu de mémoire – The case of Vieng Xay, Lao PDR.

Oliver Tappe

Vieng Xay, today a sleepy town of a few thousand inhabitants, represents one of the most dramatic episodes in Lao history. Between 1964 and 1973, the Lao highlands suffered constant air bombing by the Americans. Alongside the Plain of Jars and the Ho-Chi-Minh-Trail – discussed by Vatthana Pholsena and Elaine Russell – Houaphan province in Northeast Laos was the main target of the bombing campaign since it harbored the headquarters of the Lao communist movement. Supported by the North Vietnamese, the Pathet Lao fought a fierce civil war against the Lao royalists backed by the US. When the bombings escalated, the leadership moved into the caves of the karst mountains around Vieng Xay. Thousands of civilians followed this example and a proper cave city with more than 20,000 inhabitants emerged. The revolutionaries built commando centers, warehouses, schools, hospitals and factories inside the caves. Yet, the people’s everyday life meant constant struggle for survival.

Today, the ruling Lao People’s Revolutionary Party highlights the legacy of the years in the caves as example of bravery, sacrifice and solidarity between Party and the so-called ‘Lao multi-ethnic people’. Vieng Xay emblematizes the liberation struggle of the valiant Lao people against foreign aggressors. Therefore, it plays a key role within the narratives of official revolutionary historiography and museum exhibitions. In recent years, Vieng Xay was promoted as a tourism destination, now attracting many visitors from the lowland Lao cities and from abroad. On the one hand, the hardships of the war years are now presented to younger Lao generations; on the other hand, foreign visitors get aware of a less known chapter of cold war history. Unlike most Lao history books, the official cave tour also illustrates the small fates of the population that suffered from the war. Yet, the relation between heroism and trauma remains ambivalent. Vieng Xay represents regional pride and the commitment to revolutionary solidarity as well as individual suffering and traumatic memories. Official commemorative politics imply the transformation of suffering into sacrifice and heroism – the utilization of memory for ideological purposes. Besides, some aspects of the region’s history such as the reeducation camps are still suppressed as they would disturb the nicely arranged narrative of the righteous revolutionary struggle. This paper shall discuss the politics of memorial landscapes as media of shaping, reproducing, and controlling collective memory.

* * *

Transformed landscapes in south-eastern Laos: From the ruins of war to large-scale ‘development’

Vatthana Pholsena

This presentation focuses on a rural area in south-eastern Laos located on the Lao-Vietnamese border: Sepon district in Savannakhet Province. This area is predominantly inhabited by Mon-Khmer peoples, who are classified into two groups in Sepon (the Makong or Mangkong and the Tri) but known as one group in Vietnam (the Vân Kiêu or Bru-Vân Kiêu). However, there is also a significant minority of Tai-speaking Phuthai. The district of Sepon (formerly spelled Tchepone) is located in the east of Savannakhet Province on the 17th parallel that divided Vietnam into a communist zone in the north and a non-communist zone in the south as a result of the Geneva Agreements signed on July 21, 1954. Consequently, Sepon constituted a strategic centre and logistics base area for the North Vietnamese Army, and was one of the most important nodes on the transportation network widely known as the Ho Chi Minh Trail. Today, however, the landscape of (borderless) war – i.e. trails, craters, bare mountain slopes – is progressively giving way to a landscape of (national) development – asphalt roads, large-scale commercial plantations, hydropower projects. Traces of the past are receding in Sepon, though historical layers of ruins – remnants of war and reminders of the immediate postwar period – remain very much stamped onto the everyday landscape. In this paper, I interrogate the effects of this altering landscape on people’s war memories, and more
broadly, on their dealings with the past and negotiation with the present.

* * *

Laos – Living with Unexploded Ordnance (UXO): Past Memories and Present Day Realities

Channapha Khamvongsa and Elaine Russell, Legacies of War

Laos is the most heavily bombed country in history. U.S. Vietnam War-era bombings from 1964-1973 left nearly half of Laos contaminated with vast quantities of unexploded ordnance (UXO). Today, close to 78 million unexploded cluster bombs litter forests, rice fields, villages, school grounds, roads and other populated areas. Over 34,000 people have been killed or injured by UXO since the bombing ceased, and each year there are 300 new casualties. More than half of all confirmed cluster munitions casualties in the world have occurred in Laos. Nearly 40 years on, only a fraction of these munitions have been destroyed. UXO has shaped the lives of generations, challenging their spirit, ingenuity, and cultural beliefs. For those who lived through the war and aftermath, memories are still sharp and painful, while younger generations focus on the future and ways of coping with the current reality.

The presence of UXO in the day to day lives of the Lao people has caused terrible human losses and a heavy economic burden for a country struggling with extreme poverty. From contamination of half the arable land to strains on a grossly inadequate health care system, the impacts of UXO are far reaching. The constant and unpredictable threat takes a psychological toll. Children, particularly boys, are the most vulnerable, making up 60 percent of the casualties. Cultural beliefs and biases toward people with disabilities are challenged by the rising number of UXO injuries, which often result in lost limbs. When husbands are killed or injured, women assume non-traditional roles as the primary worker in the fields or by taking jobs, such as working for the all-woman UXO clearance team. Despite the risks, people have adapted and found creative uses for scrap metal, bomb casings, and defused cluster munitions. But the desperate need for income, has also led people to collect scrap metal for sale, which in turn has caused more UXO casualties.

* * *

Urban and rural lands in Cambodia: dealing with the scars of the past, building a memory for tomorrow.

Ariane Mathieu

The years of conflicts as well as the Khmer Rouge revolution and regime have strongly left their marks on the Cambodian land. I would like (i) to present the main transformations undergone by Khmer territories, and notably to underline the radical differences between rural and urban areas, and (ii) to highlight the way the actors manage to live with a kind of reasonable pragmatism in these spaces, which of course constantly remind of the sorrowful past, but should not inhibit current and future life. Besides, I would like to examine how the memory of Khmer Rouge times has been crystallized around specific places, both at national and local levels.

* * *

Breathing new life into remnants of war in Southeast Asia

Krisna Uk

This paper offers an ethnographic insight into the survival strategies of local communities living in a post-conflict environment that remains affected by explosive remnants of war. Despite the heavy bombardment of the Ho Chi Minh trail from 1964 to 1975, which destroyed the physical landscapes of Cambodia, Lao PDR and Vietnam, local populations living in former zones of heavy conflicts have developed practical ways to cope with the daily stress of environmental hazards. This paper examines the ways in which ethnic minority villages located in Northeast Cambodia has adjusted its daily livelihood by physically and psychologically coping with the multiple devastations caused by the wars.Whether in the form of live bombs, scrap metal, human remains, individual or collective memories, the material that is processed through collection, recollection, re-cycling and refashioning is key to a powerful therapeutic process that deals with an environment, which is emotionally and physically charged with a violent past. This paper seeks to discuss the extent of local resilience especially when it is confronted with the environmental damages caused by the extensive deployment of technological warfare by external powers. By drawing on the material culture of post-conflict ethnic minority communities, it argues that the life cycle of war-generated objects is illustrative of how the desolated landscapes of battlefields and memories can be ingenuously transformed so as to bear new meanings, take over new functions and embark into a new life.

* * *

The legacy of Agent Orange in Vietnam

Susan Hammond

[abstract follows]

Source : Global Studies / Göteborg Universitet