The Killing Fields
This photo is titled “The Killing Fields”. It is a very disturbing image for me personally. I had a very difficult time visiting the Killing Fields of Cambodia. It was an experience that was too hard to speak about or even attempt to explain with words. When I returned home I was still haunted by the images I had seen. I put this image together in Photoshop to attempt to express how it made me feel.
It is a composite of three photos. Two of the images were taken at two of the Killing Fields memorial sites in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The background is a shot of a torture room in S-21, Toul Sleng, a former school that was converted into a horrific, torture facility. The skulls in the shadowy foreground are from the Killing Fields, Choeung Ek. These places are now tourist sites and a memorial to all the people who the Khmer Rouge tortured and killed during their horrible reign of terror in Cambodia in the 1970’s. They are awful memorials. It was personally very painful to experience and see.
The third image of the little girl playing her drum is an image of hope. She represents the future that Cambodia has. I took her photo as I rode in a van driving through the market area of Phnom Penh. It was one of those shots that you catch out of the corner of your eye and then it is gone. I was ready with my camera and grabbed it just in time before she vanished as the van sped on.
It is impossible to try to wrap your mind around how something so horrific and barbarous like the Killing Fields could happen in the this modern age. Yet the future can only be determined by those who come behind. Will they forget history and repeat the past mistakes? Or will they march to a new beat and learn from the past? Have you even heard of the Killing Fields? I pray you have so we don’t have to live through another.