Living in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, means that I have to be prepared for the unexpected. Recently I was asked to take my camera into a very impoverished community situated on a lake that is being pumped full of the city’s sewage, while simultaneously being filled in for development. Talk about backwards.
Getting to photograph a place that is so poverty-stricken, was very humbling, indeed. These people live in nothing but shanty huts covered in tarps. They don’t have an income, and often turn to drugs or domestic abuse as a release. Young children run around, laughing, kicking a soccer ball, perhaps oblivious to the disadvantage their birthplace will have on them. For now they are innocent, but sadly, they’ll grow up fast due to family dysfunction.
I will never again take my Western upbringing for granted. Working with marginalized Cambodians has given me an appreciation for life that is difficult to get any other way.