Cambodia, a lost world

September 8, 2008

In June 2007 I travelled to Cambodia and visited the remains of Angkor, a vast area of temples and palaces that once were the capital of the Khmer empire and a thriving city of several million people. In the last century it was dug out of the jungle where it had vanished after the fall of the Khmer.

Visiting Angkor is an overwhelming experience. Not only are the temples and buildings amazingly beautiful; visiting Cambodia is also a journey to recent history, to a country that has suffered tremendously from the terror of the Khmer Rouge and the following civil war in the 1970 and 1980s. What remains is proof of a country that is ridden by war and poverty. Despite international help and assistance, and despite all the foreign tourists that visit Cambodia every year, the country is still very very poor. Bad government and corruption does not make it any better.
It’s a lost world, both the past and the present. But nevertheless it welcomes you with beautiful landscapes, awesome architecture, and beautiful and friendly people.

This series of pictures were taken with a hasselblad medium format camera on ROLLEI RETRO 400 and on ILFORD PANF 50 film. The high contrast sort of dark looking b&w film emphasized the atmosphere at Angkor and suited the architectural images as well as the pictures I took of the people. Life is slow in Angkor and people spend their days sitting around, waiting for customers to arrive. I took many pictures in Cambodia, but this particular series reflects my feelings best.

More images can be seen at my website.


2 Responses to “Cambodia, a lost world”

  1. “a lost world” – this is truly what is shown here without being too importunate. This is a well balanced, contentfull and sensitive press photograph. Thanks for your explanations which I found very helpful, too .
    “a lost world” can also mean “forgotten”. And this is what we tend to do too easily.

  2. Thank you, Michael!

    “Forgotten” is the right word. When there is no oil to find and no bombs exploding on a daily basis, the world quickly turn towards the next hot spot. However, I can just advise everyone to travel to Cambodia and see for themselves!

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