In Site 2 refugee camp, on the Thai/Cambodian border; a hundred small smugglers invite us to a trip whose route they have traced for us on a map out of the time and space that our world is trying to forget.
222 drawing boards :
- 197 watercolours, drawings, ink drawings
- 15 photos panels
- 10 text panels
Auction sale, Site 2 1987, Srey Bandol, Henrique (sj), John Bingham (sj)
The exhibition presents their drama in four acts : war, imaginary quest of the country rebuilt through hope; lost by terror, weariness and doubt and finally the return to the home country.
Acte 1 : War, History
Bun Math, 11 years, Site 2, 1986
- 23 watercolours
- 3 text-panels
3 text-panels relating history :
- Of Vietnam War and its stake within the cold war context, opposing the capitalist world to the communist world
- Of the rise of Red Khmers, their year in power, their fall and the flight to Thailand pursued by the Vietnamese
- Of the flight of part of the Cambodian population towards the border due to the signs of the coming foreign occupation and who will form oneself into a resistance camp
Chan Thouk, 12 years, 1987, Site 2, Thaïlande
Acte 2 : The camps of hope. From 1980 to the bombing of 1984
- 35 watercolours
- 1 text-panel
The text-panel :
- From 1980 to 1984 It is the golden age of resistance : “Next year to Phnom Penh”
- At the end of the year 1984 the armed fight is turning to the disadvantage of the resistance
- From 1985 The camps are withdrawing to Thailand
Soun, 12 years, Site 2, 1991
Acte 3 : The camps of expectancy
Sier Païlay, 11 years, Site 2, 1987
- 114 drawings and wash drawings
- 5 text-panels
“And what had once been resistance camps has become as time passes by a huge refugees’ camp.” P. Pierre Ceyrac (S.J.)
Sân, 12 years, Site 2, 1987
Acte 4 : Farewell to camps. Return to the home country
Bun Chen, 11 years, Site 2, 1987
- 24 drawings and wash drawings
- 8 photo panels
- 3 text-panels
The text-panels :
- The 23rd of October 1991 signing in Paris of the Peace agreements. From March 1992 to April 1993 Refugees ‘repatriation to Cambodia.
- After 1993 history kept being framed into drawing panels. A new chapter opens in Cambodia where the association Phare has set with a group of former Site 2 students an Art Center for Battambang’s children. Former students have become teachers in their turn.
- At the present time Phare has passed the baton for the operation of the Art Center to the local Association Phare Ponleu Selpak and is devoting itself to the second part of its objectives: Make known the surprising and exemplary route of a handful of Cambodians, real spokesmen of billions of refugees in the world. “Childhood in Red Khmers’ hell”, youth in the confinement of camps and even the return to the home country with a program of artistic development devoted to the most destitute people.
Ham Pich, 11 years, Site 2, 1987
« Pitch gave me this watercolour on the occasion of my return to France for a holiday. It was the destination he wished for me – France looking like Cambodia – but it was the destination he also wished for him and for all the refugees. Refugees of the Camps would have to wait for 13 years to come back to the Promised Land for a return far less idyllic that the one expected. »