It has been over 30 years since the end of the Khmer Rouge regime, which resulted in the deaths of an estimated 2 million people. Cambodia and its people still suffer from the legacy of that dark time in a variety of ways, including the deadly and hidden threat of abandoned land mines, which still kill or injure more than 100 people every year.
Since the early 1990s, the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) has been training de-miners and has been responsible for clearing vast areas of Cambodia from the threat of land mines. The huge task has now taken a new direction for CMAC. The group, working in conjunction with the Golden West Humanitarian Foundation, has selected a 9-person strong group of de-miners from 40 hopeful volunteers to become Cambodia’s first elite salvage diving unit.
During the early 1970’s ships carrying large stockpiles of explosive ordinance to supply the Khmer Republic were sunk in the Mekong and Tonlé Sap rivers by the Khmer Rouge and have laid there ever since, as has the large ordinance dropped by the American Military during the Vietnam War on Cambodia which ended up in rivers and lakes.
The selected 9 divers are being trained not only to dive and recover, but are also learning how to do so completely blind in depths of up to 30 meters and against the strong currents of the Mekong and Tonlé Sap rivers. These are hostile conditions require both physical and mental strength and dexterity.
I have been documenting the progress of the team for 2 years and have seen them progress into the team they are today.. its been a real privilege.. now its time to share the project with a wider audience.
An Exhibition of the project will be shown at The Brunei Gallery, London for three months from the 10th July 2015. The solo show is open to the public as well as an associated educational event.
In early 2016 the work will be exhibited in Phnom Penh Cambodia, I think it's really important to show the project "back home" all captions will be translated into the Khmer Language making it accessible to the wider population..
The work of the divers is the final frontier of UXO clearance in Cambodia, please help me to share this story.
Risks and challenges
No risk now !!! pictures are made.... only risk is if I don't get the fundingLearn about accountability on Kickstarter
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