Portrait of a Limbo | Cambodia

2009/2013 development

60 years ago Cambodia gained the independence from France, and, immediately after, was disastrously sucked into the U.S. Vietnam War. In 1975, the Khmer Rouge kicked out the US puppet government and, in the indifference of the world, they started their social experiment: 4 years of genocide, about 2 million deaths (the total population was 8 million), in the foolish attempt to "purify" the population. The Khmer Rouge, officially deposed in 1979 by a Vietnamese intervention, retreated into the mountains on the border with Thailand where they continued a bloody civil war that lasted until the twenty-first century. Until 1991, despite everything, the representatives of the Khmer Rouge occupied the chair at the United Nations. The last 60 years, in a few words. The present in Cambodia is an expansion of the regular flow of time between yesterday and tomorrow: the door of the war has just been closed and the one of modernity has not yet been opened. Life seems to be suspended between the wounds of the past, not yet healed, and the timid expectations for an uncertain future, lived with quiet resignation by a population sitting in a "waiting room". I tried to read this expectation in the landscape, in the architecture, in the humans, and give it back with a portrait of the country, large, articulate and honest, a document which will be characterized by the imperative "è stato" (has been). I avoided the spectacularization, both when shooting and in post-production with the intent, essential for me, to make a testimony for posterity as close as possible to reality. A long term project about Cambodia before everything change but where everything, in many ways, has already changed. More stories about Cambodia here: ARCHIVE CAMBODIA CLICK ON THE PICTURE TO OPEN THE SLIDE GALLERY WITH CAPTIONS. Contact ME to buy this work. ©Riccardo Rocchi. Any use of the contents on this web site without author's consent is strictly prohibited.

60 years ago Cambodia gained the independence from France,  and, immediately after,  was disastrously sucked into the U.S. Vietnam War.

In 1975, the Khmer Rouge kicked out the US puppet government and, in the indifference of the world, they started their social experiment: 4 years of genocide, about 2 million deaths (the total population was 8 million), in the foolish attempt to “purify” the population.

The Khmer Rouge, officially deposed in 1979 by a Vietnamese intervention, retreated into the mountains on the border with Thailand where they continued a bloody civil war that lasted until the twenty-first century.

Until 1991, despite everything, the representatives of the Khmer Rouge occupied the chair at the United Nations.

The last 60 years, in a few words.

The present in Cambodia is an expansion of the regular flow of time between yesterday and tomorrow: the door of the war has just been closed and the one of modernity has not yet been opened.

Life seems to be suspended between the wounds of the past, not yet healed, and the timid expectations for an uncertain future, lived with quiet resignation by a population sitting in a “waiting room”.

I tried to read this expectation in the landscape, in the architecture, in the humans, and give it back with a portrait of the country, large, articulate and honest, a document which will be characterized by the imperative “è stato” (has been).

I avoided the spectacularization, both when shooting and in post-production with the intent, essential for me, to make a testimony for posterity as close as possible to reality.

A long term project about Cambodia before everything change but where everything, in many ways, has already changed.

More stories about Cambodia here: ARCHIVE CAMBODIA

CLICK ON THE PICTURE TO OPEN THE SLIDE GALLERY WITH CAPTIONS.

Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Long term project about the development of Cambodia. Elections | Phnom Penh | The White Building | Boeung Kak Lake | Railway rehabilitation | Koh Kong | Pailin | Stung Treng | Kep | King Sihanouk Funeral | 60° anniversary independence. 2009/2013