Cambodia Two Sides of the River
The annual Water Festival draws hundreds of thousands of visitors from the countryside to Phnom Penh. I photographed the 3-day long event several times before and this year wanted to use it to add material to my Close to the Edge project by taking photographs of people, mostly children and youngsters, who are vulnerable to trafficking, to exploitation. The public on both sides of the Tonle Sap river is essentially different, the side on Chroy Changva peninsula hosting the competitors to the dragon boat races and their supporters, the city side offering entertainment to a crowd of mostly young people. Little did I know that the festivities would be brought to a dramatic end by a stampede on a bridge on the very last day, causing the death of nearly 400 people and injuring over 500.