A collection of stories from survivors of the Killings Fields.

Blog

Outside of Phnom Penh, there is an old high school that was converted in to S-21, the Khmer Rouge’s notorious prison and interrogation center. From 1975-1979, Tuol Sleng may have imprisoned as many as 20,000 people, leaving only a handful survivors.

Today, Tuol Sleng has been turned in to a museum that houses the intricate documents that the Khmer Rouge meticulously kept on their “enemies.” A showcase of the inhumane acts that was inflicted upon innocent lives, as well as thousands of photographs taken of the prisoners who lost their lives too soon, but not before enduring extreme torture that makes you truly question the good in humanity.

The collection of photographs is immensely haunting, people of all ages, who will come to fill the mass graves of Choeung Ek. Their last known existence in this world to be captured in still life.

To view some of these photos, please visit www.tuolsleng.com

And then I am able, with my bare hands, to rearrange the skulls and bones so that they are not scattered about.

“I see … a pile of skulls and bones. For the first time since my arrival, what I see before me is too painful, and I break down completely. These are my relatives, friends and neighbors, I keep thinking … It is a long time before I am calm again. And then I am able, with my bare hands, to rearrange the skulls and bones so that they are not scattered about.” – Dith Pran

The New York Times Remembers Dith Pran in Photos

Inspiring words by Dith Pran on his death bed. Dith Pran, who’s real life experiences during the Khmer Rouge Regime is depicted in the movie, “The Killing Fields,”  has some words to share with the next generation of Cambodians, and the rest of the world. He dedicated his life to tell the world about the Cambodia Genocide, and lobbied to get the Khmer Rouge leaders tried. Let’s continue his work so we may never forget and continue to seek justice for those who no longer can.

See the video here. 

“One day, the world will speak of Cambodia without defining it by the raw, recent history of the ‘killing fields’ and the Khmer Rouge. Consider that shift under way this month in New York… ’Why would a Cambodian festival resonate any more than any other country?’ [Phloeun Prim] asks. ‘Because we can pose as a model of a post-conflict nation. It’s to see, when you invest in a generation, what can happen, what can be created. The hope you can create.’” – The Huffington Post via Associated Press

I’m so happy and proud to see that Cambodia is being highlighted here in New York City, bringing lively khmer culture and events to the big city, and that I’m close by to be able to attend these events and connect with  a part of my history.

Check out Season of Cambodia’s website and if you can, please celebrate and show your support for the rich culture and arts that has made it’s way here from April through May.

Soursdei Chnam Tmei! Happy Khmer New Year!