AS A WAY OF LIFE

nomads, writer, speaker, photographer

CAMBODIA

Its heart are the Children

Cambodia is at the same time a touching country and a distressing one. It is surprising by the nuances that color its universe. It is the power and strength of a people of kings that dominated South-east Asia for multiples dynasties. Descendants of the Khmer Kingdom, they were the incredible, innovative architects of the magistral Angkor Temples. Temples that had to surpass in grandeur the monuments of its predecessors. Temples that are as breathtaking at first glance as astonishing from the details that compose them or the magic that emanates in them. They represent the builders of civilisations, the jewels of humanity.

And as a place that touched one extreme, the majestic grandeur, its opposite also appeared. From the greatness of a conquering people, a gloomy destiny came true, a destiny that showed the darkest side of humanity. A universe that switched to the gate of hell, annihilating all strength to fight, to revolt, to love, even the trust in the family ties were broken. For many and within three years of the reign of the Khmer rouge, death was a release.

Today, the Angkor temples are venerated by millions of people from the entire world, coming to wonder in front of these monuments, restored by expensive and titanic work. Opening the door to an opulent wealth which only a small portion of the population accesses. Bringing a gap with the inhabitants we see along the roads, living in bamboo huts, without running water, without electricity.

These monuments had been claimed by the jungle, where in some places it took possession of the sites. The sumptuous trees encircle the stones with their gigantic roots, showing their strength and power. Vibrating the wisdom of the centuries they lived, they are impressive and however emanate a tenderness. A tenderness that left the territory we crossed. There, the land bears a tear deep inside, first by the mines that were disseminated in the whole territory, than by the loss of its guardians, the trees. The earth is led bare, deforesting the jungle and burning the land. Only red dust, back smoke, yellow herbs and ashes stay.