In 1997 former Khmer Rouge child soldier Aki Ra founded the Cambodia Landmine Museum at his home on a quiet dirt road just outside Siem Reap near the famous temples of Angkor Wat. He created the museum under shanty huts to house his collection of decommissioned mines, bombs and other explosive remnant of war that he cleared throughout the country since 1995. During the late 1990's Aki Ra continued to clear the mines using the training he learned while working as a UN de-miner in 1994. After the UN left Cambodia, Aki Ra continued to clear mines on his own, slowly adding to the collection at his museum. By 2000 the museum had become a highlight destination for thousands of visitors to Cambodia. Journalists, photographers and other international documentarians began to spread the word about the museum around the world.
What we see today is no longer the original shanty huts but permanent facility constructed by an NGO. The museum opened its doors to the public on 22 April 2007. The Cambodia Landmine Museum is the first licensed and accredited museum of its kind in the world. Its 100% safe and meets all protocols regarding the Ottawa International Treaty to ban landmines.
The stool you see here is a simple and creative re-use of the decommissioned bombs which can still be found in the Cambodian paddock(it is never a good idea to trek on uncharted areas in Cambodia lest you step on a landmine). It is a shaky stool but safe like everything else in the museum and it weights about 20kg having tried to lift it and sat on it myself.
Critiques | Translate
SteveH (6405) 2009-06-19 18:17
Hi Alfred, very amusing image/title, with the stool well placed in the frame. cheers, Steve
phwall (6785) 2009-06-19 19:11
Sitting on that stool and having a few drinks could bring new meaning to, "getting bombed".
I love the ingenuity of people, who would have thought to use mortar shells as a base for a stool.
Well seen, and thanks for the laugh.
patdeph (35748) 2009-06-21 2:15
this is important that this museum has been created!You have very well composed this photo with the stool in front of the paintings,the colors are very beautiful!
delpeoples (59846) 2009-06-21 6:34
Hi Alfred, what an amazing story behind this photo. And what amazing use has been made of something that was once so destructive but is now so harmless. I was just talking about The Killing Fields last night as some friends had toured there. The message you send is poignant and must continue to be sent. And the image itself here is beautifully composed and wonderfully sharp. I feel as if I'm looking at the subject with my own eyes and not through your lens. TFS and have a wonderful week, Lisa.
kschanna (6) 2009-06-22 5:02
Journey from war to Art! Man, these unexploded rockets must have a story to tell...but this ingenious use of them is impressive.
Thanks for sharing
macondo (19806) 2009-06-23 7:18
Hi Alfred, greetings from Paris this time.
I like this composition, based on the incredible sharpness of the amazing foreground piece, and very effective shallowness of DOF. Those blurry pictures perhaps remind us of the human cost of the Khmer Rouge period. By the way, have you ever read 'First They Killed My Father', by Loung Ung? Great book about the era, I think.
axiotea (21651) 2009-06-27 23:22
How are you! I see you are not posting so much lately!
I was not active as well because I had a problem with my computer which is now fixed...There are also lots of power-cuts because of the monsoon.
Your picture is very important, reminding us not to forget about the horrors provoked by the landmines, the bombs (Man-Made)throughout the world. They target anyone, waiting silently even years after conflicts end...among (mainly) the civilians(I've read, according to the UN, that every year about 15 up to 20.000 people, are indiscriminately killed...injured!!
A good choice of selective focus, luminosity and colors well rendered.
Thank you for the Recycling image and note!
skippy007 (12510) 2009-07-02 16:42
Hello Alfred, I found this stool a little amusing, not for the bombs but man's ingenuity, not only recycling but also making good use of the resources available.
The stool is well placed in the frame with BG portraits very visible & for me creating some interest without detracting from the main subject.
shevchenko (20548) 2009-07-20 19:38
Interesting composition to show the boms become an artwork after the war, creative arrangement make it just look like a little stool, nice to see background paints too, good pov to frame it all, thanks for sharing.
jusninasirun (17527) 2009-10-13 5:05
This surely is one major recycling and you have focused it beautifully blurring the background pretty well. You have written a very useful note complementing this colorful image. Great shot and thanks for sharing.
- Copyright: Alfred tdl (alftrek) (3270)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2009-03-07
- Categories: Daily Life, Artwork
- Camera: Nikon D700, Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8G ED AF-S, 77mm UV Filter
- Exposure: f/2.8, 1/640 seconds
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Date Submitted: 2009-06-19 16:39