Fine Art Photography

Chum Mey S21 Survivor

Returning to a personal portrait photography project Dreamyland with this picture of Chum Mey. Chum May is one of 3 people left alive today of just a few who survived the infamous Phnom Penh security prison known as S21 during the Khmer Rouge era in 70s Cambodia. An estimated 20000 men. women and children were tortured at the former Phnom Penh high school in Tuol Sleng district before execution at Chung Ek on the outskirts of Phnom Penh, one of the many killing fields found across the country.

Most days Chum Mey can be found speaking with tourists and selling his autobiographical book “Survivor” at the Tuol Sleng Genocide museum along with fellow survivor Bou Meng.

I came across this informative 2016 BBC article by Kirstie Brewer about the two survivors at S21.

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Strips

Accidental micro stories, pictorial jump cuts, random snapshots that suggest the passing of time or a scene in a movie.

An ongoing travel and fine art photography project that has slowly evolved over the past few years, taken randomly during travel photography trips, photo walks and general travel in Cambodia and elsewhere. The strips usually come about by accident during the selecting and editing of single photographs, it is a casual sketching process and only a few of the strips were planned at the time of shooting.

The series as a whole was initially influenced by my film school experimental filmmaking in the 90s, as well as vintage stereoscopic images. Some of the strips go back to my film camera celluloid days so have a nostalgic colour/grain effect that has come out of the negative scanning process.

More recently I have started to make portrait/vertical format strips, moving away from the cinema style narrative to a more pictorial illustrative look.

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