What happened at the opening event of “Cambodia reawakening – One year after the Khmer Rouge”?


On May 3rd we launched “Cambodia reawakening – One year after the Khmer Rouge”, a photo exhibition by John Burgess. Now that the exhibition is closed to the public we would like to look back on the opening event. Speeches were given, guests enjoyed the photos and Anjali House’s Young adults explained their work.
A recap of what happened that night.

One by one the guests started to arrive and after welcoming them it was time for some speeches. Although John Burgess was in the USA, he had a few words to say about the exhibition, how he experienced reporting from Cambodia in 1980 and the collaboration with the young adults of Anjali House.

 

 

Next it was our director Simon’s turn to say a few words. She emphasized the importance of today’s young generation to learn from the past. You can read the full speech here.

“I remember when I was in high school. We learned about the Khmer Rouge in class. That was 20 years ago. Today, the teachers in public schools barely talk about that time period. This is dangerous.
Every young Cambodian must know how and why it happened.”

 

Young adult explaining his work

Young adult explaining his work.

 

After the ceremonial part had finished the guests explored the exhibition and looked at the photos with the accompanied stories, poems and personal reflections.

Sometimes they would stumble upon one of Anjali House’s young adults. Besides explaining their work they would also talk about the stories they had heard and the history they were taught or had discovered themselves.

 

 

“My father had told me about it, he was a Khmer Rouge soldier. He had to work in prison. Oficially he was on the side of the Khmer Rouge, but his actions showed otherwise.”

Gradually the guests started to leave, only more satisfied than when they arrived. And when the final guest had left it was time for us to call it a night. We would like to thank everyone for contributing to this wonderful night, with a special thanks to John Burgess.

See the time lapse of the evening