BBC Radio 4’s From Our Own Correspondent has a gripping report on a meeting with a Cambodian psychologist who works in a country still trying to come to terms with the collective brutality initiated by the Khmer Rouge regime in the 1970s.
The text of the report is online and makes for powerful reading but I really recommend listening to it, either streamed from page linked above or by downloading the podcast available as an mp3.
The Khmer Rouge are considered to be perhaps the bloodiest regime in history, with over 7 million estimated killed. They began a form of genocide where average citizens were recruited into killing people considered to be subversive from their own community.
Needless to say, many are still living with those who committed the atrocities, or, with the memories of having atrocities committed against them.
The piece is reported an understated but powerfully insightful manner, the psychologist himself reflecting the ambivalence the society still feels towards its past.
Link to text of report and streaming audio link.
mp3 of podcast.
One thought on “Wading through the killing fields of the mind”
The miracle is not in the peaceful unity that is Mankind, but in how, as animals with very self-serving aims and astoundingly insightful predatory skills, we are able to achieve peace at all, or even why we bother. That we ARE able to surmount such behaviours and put those selves ‘behind’ us, that we are able to turn from ruthless killer of our own kind into a friendly neighbour in the span of mere months, that we CAN become and transmit this sort of enlightenment, that alone should be cause for some wonder and celebration, no?