Some Unusual Khmer Rouge Rock Art in Cambodia.
Above Photo: This female farmer sculpture was carved by the Khmer Rouge and is now dressed and revered near Anlong Veng, a former Khmer Rouge stronghold in northern Cambodia.
In the very north of Cambodia, between Anlong Veng and the Thai border, not far from Pol Pot’s grave in one direction and Ta Mok, Brother Number 4’s, in the other, the road climbs through the Dangrek Mountains, and passes a large rock.
In the days of the Khmer Rouge this road was a mere track, then a logging road, and is now a dual carriageway, carrying punters to a new Thai-owned casino near the border.
Figures were carved into the rock when the area was a Khmer Rouge stronghold, as they fought a terrorist campaign inside Cambodia. Nate Thayer, a distinguished journalist who passed by the rock, as he travelled along the dirt path adjacent to it during the time of the Khmer Rouge, believed they including a sculpture of a soldier, a farmer, an intellectual, a woman, and a worker.
When Cambodian government forces invaded the area, the male figures were decapitated, as can be seen on the accompanying photos, although nowadays the figure of the woman farmer has been dressed and the rock is venerated by locals.
As I looked at the rock I thought it ironic that artistry and creativity, traits that previously had victims murdered by the thousands during the Khmer Rouge regime around Cambodia, should be so revered and practiced in their own heartlands.
Then again, hypocrisy was probably the least of the Khmer Rouge’s evils.
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© Peter Alan Lloyd
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