I’m still digesting my last 10 days in Cambodia. It’s a country that inspires a special kind of love, sadness, and acute hatred for recent history. From Tuol Sleng prison and the killing fields of Choeung Ek to the ancient ruins of Beng Mealea and Angkor Wat and all the roads in between, it’s a place of vast contrast and beauty and terror. The nation’s past echoes loudly from the empty classrooms of S-21, where thousands of Cambodians were tortured and killed from 1975-1979, as well as from the great carved corridors of Angkor Thom and the 900-year-old Bayon, with its army of passive stone faces forever looking out to some other distant horizon. There’s a kind of mysticism here that can only be borne out of history and tragedy. It’s a land of giants and harsh reverberations, of dusty countrysides and naked children and mass tourism to the temples outside of Siem Reap (but hardly anywhere else). These photographs are just tiny fragments. Snapshots really. The whole story would take so much longer.
Cambodia | On Beauty & Beasts
Posted on by Aaron Joel Santos
Published by Aaron Joel Santos
I am a freelance editorial and commercial photographer living in New Orleans. This is my blog. I'm a big fan of the arts, music, and literature. And I tend to overthink things like internet bios. View all posts by Aaron Joel Santos
5 thoughts on “Cambodia | On Beauty & Beasts”
Some great shots in there! Nice show…
Great shots – particularly love the dragon dlies.
Love your pictures, especially https://aaronjoelsantos.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/cambodia-beauty-and-burden-051.jpg . I feel the same way about Cambodia. There is beauty yet there is sadness.
Great pics and post. Cambodia is a great country that is best appreciated with open mind.