As I will be going off to Thailand & Cambodia at the end of the month, I have been thinking about whether I could do Cruel and Tender from an international perspective. In particular, given the relatively recent history of Khmer Rouge and the current tribunal, I am thinking this will provide an opportunity to explore the project theme with that history as context. I have started to do some reading into the history of the Khmer Rouge, which is challenging because of the ease with which humans can inflict pain, engage in torture and kill each other, without a second thought. Moreover, it’s clear that this type of history has and is, unfortunately, repeating itself.  In exploring the cruelty, I will have to remember and demonstrate respect for those who were/are victims of the regime.

One of the obvious things to do is to visit one of the several temples/memorials to the killing fields in Cambodia. As I will be only in Cambodia for a short time primarily to visit Angkor Wat, I think it is important for me, irrespective of this project or not, to take some time out to visit such a memorial. There is one near Angkor Wat called Wat Thmei which I have located. How I am able to represent Cruel remains to be seen during this visit remains to be seen. I yet have no idea how I will represent Tender and I may cover this during my visit to Thailand…

One way, but I will have to be very careful how this represented (if I go down this route) is how the Thai nation is dealing with the death of their long-reigning monarch the former King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Thailand has very strict lese majeste laws and I am not intending on contravening those either advertently or inadvertently.

Featured image for post © Joe Bloomfield

References:

  1. Cambodia Tribunal Monitor – http://www.cambodiatribunal.org/category/trial-observer/
  2. Wat Thmei – https://www.travelfish.org/sight_profile/cambodia/western_cambodia/siem_reap/siem_reap/1918
  3. Lese majeste  – Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lèse-majesté#Thailand

Assignment criteria: 1

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