Mapping Memories Cambodia aims to document the impact of the genocidal regime by putting survivors’ stories in the palm of your hand.
The old man’s face fills the screen of the smartphone as he walks through Kraing Ta Chan security centre in Takeo province, describing the long years of his childhood spent there. Wearing a red krama loose around his neck, he sits on the stoop outside of the detention-centre-turned-museum, the heaped skulls of those unable to escape the cruelty of the Khmer Rouge watching through the window behind him.
As the short documentary plays on, Soy Sen prepares to meet the man who saved his life. When he was just ten years old, Sen was imprisoned by the Khmer Rouge barely a year before the ultra-Maoist regime swept into Phnom Penh in 1975. Over the next four years, nearly two million Cambodians would lose their lives to famine, war and genocide. Now, 40 years after the fall of the regime, Sen is preparing to ask Phan Chhen, who he describes as “one of the top leaders of the prison”, why his life was spared.
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