News

    Photo Exhibit Recalls Khmer Rouge Atrocities

    Kimseng Men

    For the first time, Cambodians are feeling comfortable enough to openly discuss life under the Khmer Rouge.  A UN tribunal is underway.  On trial four are people accused of genocide.  And a new photo exhibit has opened in Phnom Penh, showing a side of life rarely seen in 1978.  These pictures were the images the Khmer Rouge wanted the world to see.

    However, In those days, people were forced to perform back-breaking labor, starved to death, tortured, and killed.

    The photos on exhibit were taken by former New York Times reporter Elizabeth Becker during a visit organized by the Khmer Rouge regime. It was in late 1978, just days before the regime's collapse.

    The photos are now on display for the first time in Cambodia, at a time when former Khmer Rouge leaders are on trial for causing the death of some 1.7 million lives.

    "I've seen a renaissance of Cambodians talking about their history," said Becker.  "You see films. For the first time last year a Cambodian won the international journalism award, the Knight International Journalism, for his work documenting what Nuon Chea did. This is fabulous."

    Nuon Chea was the deputy to Khmer Rouge leader Pol Pot and is now on trial, charged with war crimes, including genocide.

    Pol Pot, whom Becker interviewed on the last day of her guided tour, escaped justice when he died of disease in the jungle in 1998.  He left behind a public where the divisions between the Khmer Rouge factions and their victims were still unresolved.

    "These people have spent nearly 40 years going to the same Buddhist temple together," said Becker.  "Their kids are in the same school. One of them was the executioner; the other was the one whose family was killed. It's all like thrown together."

    Sarem Neou lives in the U.S. now, but is still not able to escape her memories of the Khmer Rouge.  She lost her husband, a daughter, and other siblings, then became a prisoner at one of the Khmer Rouge correction centers.  Over the years she has found her own way of healing.

    "When I talked about it for the first time it was hard," said Neou.  "When I first settled down in Minnesota, I could not even listen to Khmer music. I cried every time I listened to it. Therefore, I decided not to listen to any. It took me a long time for almost 10 years. We had to take part in community work to help other people."  

    The court has sentenced Kaing Kek Iev, the chief executioner also known as "Duch," to a life behind bars.  Cambodians are hotly debating whether to expand the Khmer Rouge Tribunals to more cases.

    For Elizabeth Becker, sharing her memories with the Cambodian public is a way to make sure they never forget their painful history.

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.