Join us for our fifth reading and meeting of the LAAC Book Club--where LA-area archivists and friends read and discuss publications exploring all matters archives. Books are selected every 6 weeks by the group, and may cover topics such as archival theory and practice, historical understandings, current issues and trends in information science, informational technologies, etc....we’re open to suggestions!
Our next book selection is Archiving the Unspeakable: Silence, Memory, and the Photographic Record in Cambodia by Michelle Caswell
Publisher’s Description: Roughly 1.7 million people died in Cambodia from untreated disease, starvation, and execution during the Khmer Rouge reign of less than four years in the late 1970s. The regime’s brutality has come to be symbolized by the multitude of black-and-white mug shots of prisoners taken at the notorious Tuol Sleng prison, where thousands of “enemies of the state” were tortured before being sent to the Killing Fields. In Archiving the Unspeakable, Michelle Caswell traces the social life of these photographic records through the lens of archival studies and elucidates how, paradoxically, they have become agents of silence and witnessing, human rights and injustice as they are deployed at various moments in time and space. From their creation as Khmer Rouge administrative records to their transformation beginning in 1979 into museum displays, archival collections, and databases, the mug shots are key components in an ongoing drama of unimaginable human suffering.
Along with being a LAAC Advisory Board Member, Michelle Caswell is an assistant professor of archival studies in the Department of Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, where she is also an affiliated faculty member with the Center for Southeast Asian Studies.
The group will meet on Wednesday, January 13th from 6:30-8 pm at Canter’s Restaurant (419 N. Fairfax Ave). Participants to the Book Club will be capped at 12. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a spot.
Can’t make the meeting, but are still reading the book? Let us know!
Published by: Los Angeles Archivist Collective in Book Club