Thursday, October 24, 2013

Vanny's fight

Tep Vanny (left), Nico, Christine and Vincent at Meta House tonight
A head-on collision with the land eviction problem facing many of Cambodia's poor at Meta House tonight, courtesy of an impassioned plea from Boeung Kak activist Tep Vanny, after she appeared in a new documentary on forced evictions, titled 'Even A Bird Needs A Nest,' 70-minutes in length with English subtitles. The co-directors Christine Chansou and Vincent Trintignant-Corneau answered questions at the end of the screening, alongside their film's main subject. Vanny said she'd been fighting for justice for seven years already, after some 3,000 Boeung Kak families were forced off their land in the former backpacker ghetto. Broken promises, broken heads and broken hearts litter the lakeside neighbourhood that has been turned into a wasteland after the authorities allowed a private company to fill the lake with sand. Many of the residents have been jailed and beaten for their protests including Vanny and one remains in jail to this day, whilst their de facto leader has been feted for her brave activism abroad, collecting awards on behalf of her resistance movement and speaking on human rights issues around the globe. The fight goes on for Vanny and her neighbours and the film highlights their struggles for all to see.

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