Chantria Tram and Paul Tom lauch a project for Khmer Montrealer Youths

“Voices of the 1.5 Generation”
Reconciliation through oral history performance

Khmer-Canadian artists Chantria Tram and Paul Tom are leading 16-20 Khmer (Cambodian) youths into uncharted territory in an unprecedented artist in residency project sponsored by the Montreal Life Stories Project.

Through an organic and collaborative creative process rooted in shared authority, “Voices of the 1.5 Generation” explores the two-way transmission of stories and memories between a generation that has endured extreme human rights violations, and their children—young people who, while receiving these stories, are also in the midst of creating and redefining their own identities and narratives. What perspectives do these Khmer youths have to share, and what do these say about where we are in the process of transmitting stories? How will these new emerging stories shape the Khmer community and identity? What is the legend that youths wish to now create for themselves and for future generations?

Using oral history interviews from the Cambodian Working Group of the Montreal Life Stories Project as a launching point, participants will meet each week starting in January 2012 over an intensive three-month long journey to explore their personal and collective narratives. The project will begin with participatory research, move into in-studio exploration through acting and storytelling workshops, and culminate with a theatrical outcome and short documentary film tracing the creative process through in-studio recordings, video diaries and group interviews. The work will be presented as part of the Montreal Life Stories March 2012 "We Are Here" programme — a month-long series of events that will include workshops, exhibitions, performances, screenings, and the international conference “Beyond Testimony and Trauma: Oral History in the Aftermath of Mass Violence.”


Chantria Tram is a Toronto and Montreal-based actor, writer and workshop facilitator. She co-founded Apsara Theatre Company in 2008 and wrote/performed its inaugurating piece called “Someone Between.” She continues to create and lead workshops with different communities.

Paul Tom is a versatile Montreal-based award winning writer/filmmaker, working in animation, fiction and documentary films. Currently, he is completing a documentary about his first trip to Cambodia and animating a short at the NFB.

The Montreal Life Stories Artist-in-Residence project is directed by Edward Little, professor of theatre at Concordia University.

For full details of the project, please visit Chantria Tram's website