She Never Rode That Trishaw Again tells the story of Loo Ngan Yue, a woman widowed by the British war against anti-colonial forces in Malaya — a 12-year conflict that became a template for other counter-insurgency campaigns around the world, including Vietnam, Afghanistan and Iraq. Artist and author Sim Chi Yin juxtaposes vacation photographs of Loo — her late paternal grandmother — with oral history excerpts on the family’s trauma. This intimate volume, using vernacular photographs to create a filmic experience, takes us inside the emotional world of a family shattered by geopolitics. It is the first in a trilogy of books Sim is making around the “Malayan Emergency” of 1948 to 1960, and its colonial and post-colonial representations, painting a picture of anguish, loss and, amnesia — an allegory for Southeast Asia’s lingering traumas as a Cold War battleground.

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