Leo Laksi’s Bangkok And Back

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh, Camboda

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Interrogation room at S21 Security Prison.

Interrogation room at S21 Security Prison.

One of the most emotional sights to visit while in Phnom Penh, Cambodia is the Tuol Sleng Genocide Musuem.  This venue was formerly a high school that was converted by the Khmer Rouge in 1975 to Security Prison “S21” to house the mainly  middle-class and educated segment of society for interrogation and torture.  The Khmer Rouge believed that educated city-dwellers were exploiters of society and of the working, mainly agrarian, classes.  There was a forced exodus from the cities and larger towns to the countryside.

Those rounded up for interrogation and torture included whole families.  One of the difficult sights at the museum is the photographs of those rounded up and imprisoned.  Not only do you see the frightened faces of men and women, you also see the faces of children.  Beside the photographs, you can view the cells where the victims were imprisoned, torture instruments and human bones including skulls.  Although grotesque in some ways,  the museum is invaluable in making sure we don’t forget what happened thirty years ago.  In depicting gruesome inhumanity, it reminds visitors that we should not be complacent in the face of such crimes against humanity.

Photos taken with a Nikon D700 and Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8 zoom lens.

Interrogation room at S21 Security Prison.

Interrogation room at S21 Security Prison.

 

Photos of inmates.

Photos of inmates, tortured and murdered.

Reflection of whom.

Reflection of whom.

Photo exhibition.

Photo exhibition.

 

Makeshift prison cell in classroom.

Makeshift prison cell in classroom.

 

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Written by leolaksi

November 29, 2009 at 6:06 pm

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