Our project, "Reconceptualizing the Cold War: On-the-ground Experiences in Asia," aims to build an online archive of oral history collections concerning the Cold War and decolonization in Asia, with a particular focus on East, Southeast, and South Asia. Based on oral history interviews and archival research across Asia, we aim to capture the emotions, enthusiasms, and fears of the era, and explores experiences and memories of ordinary people who witnessed various kinds of real and imagined wars.
This collection introduces recounts by local Indonesians–both victims and perpetrators–of massacres in the aftermath the Sept 30 Incident. Their experiences provide a localised view of on-the-ground forces that coalesced to shape a traumatic period in Indonesian history.
This collection introduces testimonies of Chinese soldiers who were dispatched to various Southeast Asian countries on secret goodwill missions in Cold War Asia.
This collection introduces personal experiences of leftist activism in northern Thailand in the 1970s. It explores topics such as student movement, teachers' association, and political violence, reexamining what leftist activism meant for them.
This collection introduces recollections by Chinese fishermen who frequently sailed across the Taiwan Strait at the height of the Cold War. Their experiences offer a microscopic view of how ordinary people maneuvered rivalries between the two Chinas as a way to safeguard their livelihoods.
This collection offers insight on how indigenous tribespeople on Taiwan experienced both Japanese and Chinese Kuomintang rule across the 20th century.
This collection introduces various on-the-ground testimonies on how conflict between the Moro National Liberation Front and the Philippine government culminated in the outbreak of the Battle of Jolo in 1974.
This collection provides a glimpse of the various culture-shocks experienced by the overseas Chinese in Southeast Asia when they returned to mainland China during the Cold War.
View the collection of transcripts about the Malaysian Left and Labor in the 1960s-1970s.
These transcripts include interviews with former Naxalite members and leaders, as well as other leftist activists. Many of their stories touch on historically deep-rooted conflicts between the Jenmis (landed aristocracy) and lower-caste Adivasi (indigenous tribal) communities.
The collection introduces interviewees' early lives in Japan, return to North Korea, and defection to South Korea. They discuss how they grew up in Japan, how they went back to North Korea, and what they faced and how they were viewed there.
Learn about the Cold War through our oral archives.
Learn about our past and forthcoming workshops.
Learn about present and past members of our project.