UBC Theses and Dissertations

UBC Theses Logo

UBC Theses and Dissertations

The art of becoming : filmmaking and performance on Cambodian postcoloniality and diaspora Hara, Hiroko


Focusing on visual culture and artistic practice/performance, this study examines how individuals of Cambodian heritage living in Canada, Japan, and Cambodia sustain networks beyond borders through the application of technology, and what forms of expression using digital and non-digital media are actively practiced on a daily basis. Drawing on the concept of “heterotopia” by Michel Foucault (2002) and Trinh T. Minh-ha (1994)’s version of the notion of “hybridization”, I aim to attain the following three conceptual objectives: (1) to uncover the research participants’ (re)actions to the dominant meaning and representation of Cambodia, the people, and culture created by the media (i.e., TV, newspapers, magazines, etc.); (2) to show various forms of artistic practice and performance by the participants (e.g., photographing, filming, performing, painting, blogging, writing books, and teaching art); and (3) to propose a novel approach for education and research, which brings a critical lens in dealing with the issues of immigration and taking into account the significance of the arts for the daily lives of people living in the digital age. This study employs interviews and video recordings conducted in Ottawa, Tokyo, Hiratsuka, and Phnom Penh—the cities where the study participants reside. I apply a “speaking nearby” position as practiced by Trinh (1982) and incorporate film production and performance within the film. From the attempt to interweave these research methods and merge the boundary between the text and the image emerge not only diverse perspectives and forms of expression of the research participants in regards to his/her-story, home, food, language, education, time, space, and dwelling, but also intricate and heterogeneous modes of being and becoming of people in the globalizing times.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data


Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International