AbstractThe ‘spirit home’ is the quintessential Khmerican incarnation of ownership and property. Distributed across suburban America, the spirit home is a ‘repaired’ artifact of Khmericana. Khmericana is a world-building project, reconciling myths that perpetuate violence within the Cambodian-American community. In order to thrive as a culture, we must author our own artifacts to clearly see how these contradictions of value exhibit themselves. The Khmer diaspora must claim, challenge and adapt these visions which border trauma and utopia as a part of our legacy. The spirit home is a family of animist monuments that endure as an architectural signifier of the Cambodian ethnoburb. These shrines also shelter offerings from the everyday to spiritual commodities steeped in symbolism. Khmericana reinterprets the traditional Khmer visual language as an archive, inventing a new historical reference point. This moment signals a departure from community survival towards a new cultural equanimity. The spirit home is a power object with the ability to influence the Cambodian-American cultural imagination. Khmericana identifies this potential for cultural placemaking by leveraging spirit homes as a site for intersectional solidarity.
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