On Thursday 3 May 2018, Liverpool School of Law and Social Justice Lecturer and former Khmer Rouge Tribunal assistant prosecutor Alex Batesmith gave a public talk entitled ‘Poetic Justice Products’: Victim Counter-Aesthetics and the Spectre of the Show Trial at Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

Alex BatesmithAlex Batesmith

The talk, part of a series of events exploring questions of representation in and of transitional justice in post-atrocity Cambodia, explored the actions of Theary Seng, a prominent Cambodian-American civil society activist and survivor of Cambodia’s ‘killing fields’. In his talk, Alex discussed how Theary Seng challenged the stereotypical aesthetic of atrocity crime victims as passive embodiments of suffering by creating her own concept of ‘poetic justice’ and ultimately rejecting the legitimacy of the prosecutorial justice pursued by the Khmer Rouge Tribunal.

Alex - Khieu Samphan - Poetic Justice
Image depicting Khmer Rouge Tribunal accused Khieu Samphan with a dartboard target overlaid as part of a game produced by Cambodian activist Theary Seng