The White Building is one of Phnom Penh’s most notorious apartment buildings, one that many locals consider a slum. It’s crumbling, it’s rundown and it’s facing demolition – and its home to 2500 tenants, who mostly pay rent and love to live there.
The following are my on-location field notes from December 2015. I travelled with a Krung guide into the forest, he introduced me to the highlanders and translated all interviews.
The amount of flip flops outside of a shaft is proof how many people are inside digging for gem stones. The highlanders have no right to their land, no legal papers, no marker stones, no lobby to proof that it is the land of their ancestors for a long time.
The Gold Forest is an area off limits to everyone not into the gold business.
It is a remote stretch of land with its own rules of law. People working here don’t want to hear their names being called.
If you ask the Burmese, which country they don’t like, they say Myanmar.
If you ask tourists which country in Asia they like best, it’s Myanmar.
After three hours of near death experiences cross country, we arrived at the border town of Anlong Veng. One road, one big turnaround, a market and a romantic looking lake still called “Pol Pot & Ta Mok” Lake. I visited the cook of the former Khmer Rouge leader, Pol Pot, in the north of Cambodia.
I visited the North and North East of Sri Lanka with the help of a local NGO.
The villagers don’t trust the peace situation; they don’t believe that the constant moving and resettling during the civil war might finally have found an end. The Omadiyamadu villagers have been relocated many times during the civil war – and live again in temporary shelters.