Facing death

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Facing death

  1. 1. Facing Death Identification Photographs from the Killing Fields Phnom Penh, Cambodia 1975-1979
  2. 2. • One hundred gelatin silver prints were made from negatives in the archive of what was once the secret prison S-21, and is now The Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. • The prison was turned into a museum shortly after Phnom Penh was liberated by the Vietnamese Army in 1979. • A museum archive was established to preserve the approximately 6,000 black and white negatives.
  3. 3. • From 1975 to 1979, Pol Pot led the Khmer Rouge in a reign of violence, fear, and brutality over Cambodia. • The human costs of the revolution were horrific. • According to conservative estimates a million people - or roughly one seventh of the country's population - died from starvation, malnutrition and misdiagnosed or mistreated illness during this period. • Another 200,000 were executed as enemies of the state.
  4. 4. • S-21 was an important secret prison operated by the Pol Pot regime in the capital city of Phnom Penh from mid-1975 through the end of 1978. The focus of S-21 was on those who were inside the Khmer Rouge, and thought to have betrayed the movement. • The families of offenders were often brought to the prison as well in order to keep the deaths of their loved one from being avenged. Almost all of the prisoners had worked in the armed forces, factories, or administration.
  5. 5. Upon arrival at S-21, the prisoners were photographed, tortured until they confessed to whatever crimes their captors charged them with, and then executed. The prisoners' photographs and completed confessions formed dossiers that were submitted to Khmer Rouge authorities as proof that the "traitors" had been eliminated. Of the 14,200 people who were imprisoned at S-21, there are only seven known survivors.

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