Wednesday, 31 October 2018

Visiting The Killing Fields Of Choeung Ek, Part Two

On to grim details at Choeng Ek.

The killing stopped in 1978, once Pol Pot was toppled. The graves were mostly excavated by 1980. Many graves remain untouched and bones, clothing and personal effects emerge from the ground all the time. The artifacts are collected and kept.

Signs of power and domination. Khmer uniforms. Rope ties.

Piles of skulls, many collected and displayed in a central Memorial Stupa.

Found clothing. When the staff at Choeung Ek find items, they'll leave them out for a bit, in a display case. Single tooth. All a grim reminder of the recent past and the unfinished present.

The focal point of the complex, the Memorial Stupa. It's a repository for many of the skulls and bones, stacked higher than the eye wants to go.

Monday, 29 October 2018

Visiting The Killing Fields Of Choeung Ek, Part One

If you somehow survived the torture at political prison S-21 in Phnom Penh, chances are you'd end up out of town, at the local Killing Field, Choeung Ek. You'd be killed there, usually by being beaten to death with a farming tool, better to save valuable bullets. Then you'd end up buried in a mass grave, a mound among many at the complex.

Excavated mass grave sites.

Part of the place was an old Chinese cemetery, still some marker remnants visible. A cut-out of the ground, showing DDT treatment, used to break down and destroy bodies.

Some of the mass graves have been fenced and include information about how many bodies were buried and their condition when found. People have left colorful bracelets and stuffed figures.

Just outside the complex, life went on - and goes on. Rice field.  Educating the next generation. There were many school groups visiting while Sarah and James were there.

Another section, more graves.

Friday, 26 October 2018

Details Of Phnom Penh, Part Two

Crawling through Phnom Penh, fishing for something unique and beautiful among the mass of society. Or not - just taking photographs.

Cruising the Mekong.

Will do. Sidewalk medical mural, a real truth in advertising.

A casual Angkor Wat-themed eating joint. Fan-tastic.

Fruit plate. History on the wall.

Back at the palace, a cheery wave good night!

Wednesday, 24 October 2018

Details Of Phnom Penh, Part One

Another city, another set of little jewels to discover.

The mayhem. Doable.

Mildly curious about the palace renovation. Controlling the local transportation.

Wall decorations.

The Coca-Cola ferry. Pavlov food signs.

Hurtling toward modernity, a new building, acting like its own Times Square. Front graphic is the Cambodian flag.

Monday, 22 October 2018

Bad Pictures Of Good Animals At Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center

There's a great animal refuge about an hour from Phnom Penh, a large, rambling piece of property with a wide variety of animals to see and appreciate. It's a relaxed affair - buy a couple bags of potatoes, feed who you want, try to stay ahead of the monkeys.

The cages look comfortable, room to roam, climb, nap. And hide from photographers looking for nice images.

Presenting the anti-Nat Geo way of looking at animals.

Albino deer.

Pacing lion. We were "lucky" enough to get a backstage look at the regal beast. He definitely looked at us as if our heads were fresh roasted chickens. And if he didn't want us, the next wave was waiting in the doorway.

Friday, 19 October 2018

Putting Up A Fake Face At Phnom Tamao Wildlife Rescue Center

It's always fun to see places do a homemade job of creating a "natural" world.  It usually reconfirms that we're unable to improve on Mother Nature. Love that you tried!

The natural and the semi-natural, meeting.

The famous 2D/3D wall tiger. Door to another universe.

Shy concrete bear.

Really getting subtle, a downed "tree" bench and a "wood log" step along a path. Fantastic.

Back to reality, at least as much as a selfie and bowl on your head can give you.

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

A Photographic Memory Of Tuol Sleng Prison

Why do some of the most horrendous regimes keep the best records of their atrocities? How proud can they be? Like the Nazis, the Khmer Rouge kept track of and exhaustively photographed prisoners, torture, death, everything.

If you were cursed to be sent to Security Prison 21, your journey was well documented. The museum is smart to include many of these photographs, a direct reminder of what happened at the prison and the not faceless people who were killed there.

Processed at arrival.

They kept coming, more and more victims of the revolution.

Recorded after death.