|With the self-portrait by Vann Nath at S-21 - click to enlarge|
I spent this afternoon at Tuol Sleng/S-21 with Rumnea. She'd not been there since she went with her school about eight years before. This time around she could understand it all much more clearly. If you have been to Tuol Sleng you will have seen the paintings that recreate some of the horrific scenes that took place at the prison, painted by Vann Nath, who managed to survive exactly one year at this factory of murder. Behind me in the photo above, is his own self-portrait that hangs in one of the rooms, alongwith more than a dozen of his pictures. Both Rumnea and myself spent time with Vann Nath's widow earlier this week so his artwork was particularly poignant for us. One of the exhibits I've not seen before are reproductions of some of the confessions of the westerners that were tortured and killed at S-21. These include the final statements from John Dewhirst, David Scott, Kerry Hamill and Rovin Bernard. I'd never seen these before and will post them here over the next few days. Rumnea came away from Tuol Sleng with a lot of anger and questions, probably much the same as many Cambodians who realize what this group of Khmers did to their fellow countrymen and women.
|Rumnea sitting in one of the interrogation rooms at S-21|
Labels: Tuol Sleng S-21, Vann Nath