Friday, April 24, 2009

London calling

One of the victims of the Khmer Rouge at S-21
London will soon host an exhibition of photographs and a series of events that will focus on S-21, aka Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, in Phnom Penh. A screening of his famous documentary Year Zero and a Q&A with journalist John Pilger has been lined-up and in June, a new play under the title S-27 will be performed for the first time. The photographic exhibition, called Facing Death: Portraits of Cambodia's Killing Fields, will be held at the Photofusion Gallery in Electric Lane, London SW9 from 1 May until 26 June and will be composed of one hundred ID portraits loaned from The Photo Archive Group, a Los Angeles based non-profit organisation founded by photojournalists Chris Riley and Doug Niven who discovered, cleaned, catalogued and saved the negatives found at S-21. These extraordinary images, of people arriving at S-21 and who would never be allowed to leave, will be shown in the UK for the first time. The John Pilger screening and Q&A will take place at the same venue on Saturday 30 May at 3pm with a £10 entrance fee. The brand new play, inspired by the work of the Khmer Rouge photographer Nhem En, who was the man responsible for most of the S-21 face images, S-27 was the inaugural winner of Amnesty International’s Protect The Human Playwriting Competition. The play is by Sarah Grochala and is about a woman who takes photographs of people before they’re executed and how her encounters with the victims of the regime under which she lives change her life. It begins on 9 June and will run until 4 July at the Finborough Theatre, SW10. If you are in the UK, make sure you get along and visit the exhibition, join JP or get your ticket to watch the play.

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