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Photographer's Note

The Khmer people are the predominant ethnic group in Cambodia, accounting for approximately 90% of the 13.9 million people in the country.
When they look into their past, they can see good times and bad times.

The good times were during the Khmer empire, the largest continuous empire of South East Asia, which existed between A.D. 802 - A.D. 1432.
Its greatest legacy is Angkor, which was the capital during the empire's zenith. Angkor bears testimony to the Khmer empire's immense power and wealth.

The bad times were under the government of Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge party from 1975 until 1979. The period saw the death of approximately 2 million Cambodians through the combined result of political executions, starvation, and forced labor, about 25% to 30% of the entire population.

When hoping for a better future for their poor country, Khmer people must also face up into their turbulent past, good times and bad times alike.

The face on the right is from the famous Bayon temple in Angkor that was built in the late 12th century or early 13th century as the official state temple of the King Jayavarman VII, the Bayon stands at the centre of Jayavarman's capital, Angkor Thom. The Bayon's most distinctive feature is the multitude of serene and massive stone faces on the many towers.

The face on the left belongs to a young khmer girl I met in the Bayon temple. She was a local tourist from the modern capital of cambodia - Phnom penn.

Despite 800 years that separate them in time, I could not help notice the similarity in their facial features, the face of the khmer nation.

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Additional Photos by Dan Goldberg (dangold) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 27 W: 0 N: 27] (113)
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