Erenlai - 按日期過濾項目: 週三, 27 五 2009
週四, 28 五 2009 00:33

Meeting Cambodia and its Peacemakers

[dropcap cap="A"]n essential component that appears to be lacking in society today is the art of peacemaking. Rather than justify the widespread violence of our time with the common belief that "aggression is inevitable," or that “it is all in the past” is not enough to neither ensure persisting peace nor improve the lives of the masses.[/dropcap]
On the 21st of April I embarked on a trip to Cambodia- a recovering land of a struggling young generation, ministers in Lexus cars, and some of the most beautiful sceneries I had seen in Asia. I set out in search of individuals whom possess the characteristics of my definition of a peacemaker- someone who invests their energy, time and at times at their own expenses on maintaining peace and improving the lives of those around them. I wounded up meeting a handful of people, young and old whom have sacrificed in ways not many would comprehend, and taken peacemaking to a whole new level.

Cambodia is one of the places whose recovery is slow but evident, abundant in peacemakers both local and international. After the recent genocide under the Khmer Rouge Regime that left 2 million of their people dead, the Cambodia we see today is one of division- division by wealth which inevitably distorts the competency and impartiality in their judicial system. And the wider the gap becomes, the closer they are to losing the relative peace that they had finally attained, and these are but one of the many problems that peacemakers have to face in Cambodia.

The politics in the aftermath of the Khmer Rouge genocide is one of power struggle and little humanity. Throughout the last two decades or so of peace in Cambodia, the question of justice and reconciliation still remains unanswered. Although the establishment of an international tribunal for Khmer Rouge leaders is in course (i.e. Kaing Guek Eav); it is far short of ensuring such crimes against humanity will be prevented in the future. Not only do the Cambodian people seek closure, but also a measure of political consensus. Despite the recent growth in economy and foreign investment, the poor remain ever so vulnerable.

What struck me most is the strength and resilience of a people that have undergone such a traumatic and painful recent history. Through a friend working with one of the NGOs there, I was fortunate to have met Cambodians, like Mr Mech Sokha, who were willing to lay down a painful past and find the will and resources to give some of their less fortunate countrymen a lift.

I am not a photographer. My photos are not able to illustrate the power of the human spirit and the struggles that many Cambodians have to go through just to survive. But I hope that it is through the multiple videos and images I have taken, that one may elicit some of the beauty that is Cambodia and the peacemaking efforts that uphold it. In my narrative I aim to capture the essence of a renewed society of peacemaking young and old people, foreign and local, determined to construct a better and more resistant Cambodia.

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(Photos by Philong Sovan, CSC Cambodia)

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