To celebrate 30 years of continuous work in the country, International Committee of the Red Cross is presenting an exhibition of photos from its regional archives at the Bophana Audiovisual Center.
Dr Bruce Eshaya-Chauvin, ICRC health and care regional delegate to Cambodia, Indonesia and Thailand, said that the exhibition will document the country’s history and development.
“The most important thing is the memory,” he said. “The country is developing very quickly that we tend to forget.”
Dr Eshaya-Chauvin added that the 30 years of photos presented in the exhibition is broken into three periods: 1979 to 1989, when ICRC focused on delivering food, supplies and medicines in Cambodia; 1990 to 1999, when the focus was on helping refugees; and 2000 to 2009 when ICRC concentrated on physical rehabilitation, the well-being of prisoners and assisting the Cambodian Red Cross.
“The ICRC is mainly concerned with conflict and postconflict areas, and Cambodia is definitely post-conflict,” Dr Eshaya-Chauvin said of the ongoing work in the country.
The ICRC delegation in Bangkok chose the photos but Dr Eshaya-Chauvin said it’s a good representation of the organization’s work in Cambodia, starting from its re-entry into the country when it had to be based at the Hotel Samakki, which is now the Raffles Hotel, to its current work with amputees and the treatment and conditions of prisoners throughout the country.
“[The exhibit] contributes to the memory,” he said. “We have to know where we have been to know where we are going.”
The photos displayed were taken in Cambodia and Thailand, and include images in black and white and color. The subjects of the photos range from the not for the faint-hearted to the uplifting. Pictures of surgeries share gallery space with the pictures of refugees receiving mail from family members, shots of war and political prisoners being released.
“30 Years of Continuous ICRC Activities in Cambodia,” will be display at Bophana, located at 64 St 200, until Jan 8.