Sunday, September 7, 2008

Behind the walls

Bou Meng, one of the handful of survivors from Tuol Sleng
These images are from one of 4 films screened at Meta House last night, here in Phnom Penh. They are the 3 interviewees from the documentary film Behind The Walls of S-21: Oral Histories from Tuol Sleng, produced in 2007 by DC-Cam and director Doug Kass, that tell some of the story of what took place at the Khmer Rouge's center of interrogation. Two survivors, Bou Meng and Chum Mey were kept alive because of their skills as an artist/painter and as a mechanic, and describe their imprisonment whilst guard Him Huy tells his side of the story too. Powerful stuff. The 3 other films shown were a ten-minute short on DJ Sdey, a light-hearted look at Cambodia's number one DJ/rapper; a video letter reflecting on contemporary art in Cambodia; and a video presentation by the artists themselves from the Art of Survival exhibition. It was fascinating to hear how each of the 17 artists had interpreted their own individual reflections on the Khmer Rouge genocide for the exhibition, part 2 of which is still running at Meta House and the Bophana Center.
Survivor Chum Mey was kept alive because of his skills as a mechanic
Tuol Sleng guard Him Huy describes how he was forced to kill an inmate


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