Silke Gondolf // Photography

Gem Stone Miners in Cambodia

Once the forest is chopped off and sold, the land is used for heavy mono-culture farming by foreign and local investors. Ratanakiri translates into “the Gem Mountain” – mining for semi-precious stones has been done here for more than 40 years.

2006 Bhutan

18 days on the road in 2006 – the last year Bhutan was under the rule of the Emperor, the Dragon King of Bhutan. Bhutan, a country with less than a million people, has a dress code, so called Ghos and Kiras – and lots of red rubber boots. Bhutan, worshipping the phallus an esoteric symbol for the Bhutanese.  Ornate, wooden penises decorate doorways, hang off from rooftops and are painted on the sides of homes. They fend off evil spirits.  Fresh weed is fed to Bhutan’s farm animals; it makes them slow and relaxed and they put on weight easily. Thimpu, Bhutan’s capital has human traffic lights, police officers dancing like ballerinas, regulating traffic. Bhutan also does not sell Coca Cola or similar sweet sins. The King fights Caries and Adipositas. Smoking is not allowed in all of Bhutan. Everything is under control and people willingly follow the rules. To call Bhutan paradise is to call an authoritarian regime Shangri-La.