Hear Their Stories

The city of Stockton has the distinction of having the fifth-largest population of Cambodians in the nation and the second-largest in California. Beginning in 1975, when Cambodia fell to the communist Khmer Rouge and as many as 2 million perished in the killing fields, Cambodian refugees began relocating here in larger numbers. Once here, they forged a close community of a rich and compelling people. The stories are horrifying and heartbreaking, but also full of heart and perseverance, a window into the human spirit that fights against even the most unspeakable evil, not just to go on, but to triumph.

Be A Storyteller

Tell your story and help us document Cambodian history.

Be An Interviewer

Interview Cambodian elders and document their invaluable stories.

Be A Translator

Help translate the stories of the Cambodian elders.

Beyond The Killing Fields

Our mission with this project is not just to highlight the sufferings of their past but to show the Khmer people’s remarkable strength, will and resilience – the affirmative, empowering, redemptive story of their history and their present here.

A public domain oral history project, as well as a documentary, exhibit of artifacts and photos and a complete multimedia website will help preserve these personal narratives and allow them to be used for further education and research.

A Short Film

Facebook Feed

April 11th, 5:11 pm

Stockton Cambodian Oral History Project shared Davin Kaing's event. ...

Cambodian Son

April 20, 2014, 5:00pm

Janet Leigh Theatre

The Cambodian Student Association of University of the Pacific is collaborating with the California State University, Sacramento to co-host the screening of recently awarded the top documentary at San Francisco's CAAMFest 2014, "Cambodian Son". The screening will take place at University of the Pacific at 5:00 pm in the Janet Leigh Theatre. The trailer to the documentary can be found here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=EHiUw0v8YSs About the Film: "'Cambodian Son' documents the life of deported poet, Kosal Khiev after receiving the most important performance invitation of his career—to represent the Kingdom of Cambodia at the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Kosal would travel to London having only taken two flights prior; first, as a 1-year-old refugee child whose family fled Cambodia and, then as a 32-year-old criminal “alien” forcibly returned to Cambodia in 2011. The film follows a volatile yet charming and talented young man who struggles to find his footing amongst a new freedom that was granted only through his deportation. Kosal’s London representation is a triumphant moment for many people in his life, both in America and Cambodia. The film traces the impact and significance of this moment for Kosal, his friends, family, mentors and a growing international fan base. Armed only with memorized verses, he must face the challenges of being a deportee while navigating his new fame as Phnom Penh’s premiere poet. After the performances end and the London stage becomes a faint memory, Kosal is once again left alone to answer the central question in his life: 'How do you survive when you belong nowhere?'" About the Director: "Born in Osaka, Japan, Mr. Masahiro Sugano, a Sundance Film Festival alumni, is an award winning filmmaker whose accolades stretch from a Student Academy Award nomination in 1997 to his most recent award as the 2013 grant recipient for Center for Asian American Media’s Innovation Fund for his experimental web series titled “VERSES IN EXILE” After an international run at film festivals in Pusan, Singapore and Buenos Aires, Mr. Sugano’s first feature length film ART OF LOVE was distributed on DVD. He earned a B.A. in philosophy from California State University (Northridge) and an M.F.A. in film/video/animation from the University of Illiniois (Chicago). His recent short film “Why I Write (2011)” won the Best Poem Performance on Film award at the 2012 Berlin Zebra Poetry Festival. Through the media lab Studio Revolt, Mr. Sugano has introduced Cambodian Neo-Realism to a young generation of eager Khmer filmmakers. He currently resides in Phnom Penh Cambodia where he has completed his second feature length film project, CAMBODIAN SON (2014)." About the Producer: "Producer, writer and spoken word artist, Ms. Anida Yoeu Ali is a first generation Muslim Khmer woman born in Cambodia and raised in Chicago. Ms. Ali serves as Studio Revolt’s producer on film projects and as creative director with the studio’s PR/marketing and promotional needs. Ms. Ali co-founded the national performance collectives, I Was Born with Two Tongues (with whom she was named “Top 20 Most Influential Asian Americans” by A. Magazine) and Mango Tribe, whose theatrical and touring productions she successfully produced and performed in from 1998-2005. Her artistic work has been the recipient of grants from the Rockefeller Foundation, Ford Foundation, the National Endowment of the Arts (Abrons Arts Settlement), and the Illinois Arts Council. She is a recipient of the 2011 U.S. Fulbright Fellowship to Cambodia where her art and research focused contemporary oral histories of Khmer locals. She earned her B.F.A. from University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) and her M.F.A. from School of the Art Institute Chicago. Her work with Studio Revolt fulfills her life long dream of continuing to tell untold narratives through the experience of art." For more information about the film, please visit: cambodianson.com

View on Facebook
logoThis project was made possible with support from Cal Humanities, an independent non-profit state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. For more information, visit www.calhum.org.
1806512327-2The Stockton Cambodian Oral History Project is supported in part by a grant from the Stockton Arts Commission. For more information, visit www.stocktongov.com.