Omar Havana

Photographer
    
They Smashed Banks for Pol Pot. Now They’re Founding Them
Location: Paris, France
Nationality: Spanish
Biography: Omar Havana, 1975 Granada, Spain. Spanish Freelance Photojournalist. Based in Paris, France. Previously based in Asia. ( Nepal 2014-2015 and Cambodia 2008 - 2014 ; 2015-2017) Omar has worked as a professional photojournalist since 2005, and since... read on
Public Story
They Smashed Banks for Pol Pot. Now They’re Founding Them

When the Khmer Rouge were ousted in 1979, they retreated to strongholds like Malai on the western fringes of Cambodia along with thousands of soldiers and supporters. While Pol Pot continued to restrict free enterprise in areas under his control, residents of Malai were allowed to conduct some trade and amass personal property starting in the 1990s.

The area broke away from the Khmer Rouge in 1996, in part to avoid Pol Pot’s attempts to recollectivize property. Today, the residents of this dusty but bustling town are almost all former Khmer Rouge soldiers or cadres and their families, but they have come to embrace capitalism with almost as much vigour as they once fought to destroy class distinctions, free trade and even money itself.

Photography: © Omar Havana for The New York Times. All Rights are Reserved

Intro by Julia Wallace for The New York Times

This story was done while on assignment for The New York Times


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By Omar Havana —

VISUAL STORY

The Bucolic Life of a Cambodian Grandmother Accused of Mass Killings

By Omar Havana / Anlong Veng, cambodia — In this dusty mountain hamlet on the Thai border, she is known as Grandma Chaem. The tiny 74-year-old lives..
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Breaking tradition among Nepal's Maithil women

By Omar Havana / Janakpur, Nepal — Like many women in the Maithil community in Nepal, Manjula Thakur found her life severely restricted and..
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Bonjour, Paris

By Omar Havana / Paris — "The meaning of the other and love have disappeared from this society. Without money, people do not..
VISUAL STORY

Trapped: the Dark Side of Cambodia's Beer Gardens

By Omar Havana / Siem Reap — Throughout Cambodia, thousands of women, most of them under the age of 25, work in beer gardens, karaoke..
VISUAL STORY

When the Earth Shook Nepal

By Omar Havana / Nepal — A 7.8 magnitude earthquake struck Nepal on April 25th, 2015, shaking the already-impoverished nation to its..
VISUAL STORY

A woman's Cry: The detention of Tep Vanny

By Omar Havana / Phnom Penh — Tep Vanny is Cambodia’s most famous activist and the leader of the women of Boeung Kak Lake, who..
VISUAL STORY

Devotees of the Ink

By Omar Havana / Nakhom Pathom — Once a year, thousands of people from all over Thailand travel to the Wat Bang Phra temple, located about..
VISUAL STORY

Inside a Cambodian Slaughterhouse

By Omar Havana / Siem Reap — In a country where the demand for meat is ever-increasing and where pork is generally favored,..
VISUAL STORY

The Way

By Omar Havana / Greece — More than 100,000 refugees and migrants have arrived in Greece since the beginning of 2016. They cross the..
VISUAL STORY

The Khmer Fighters

By Omar Havana / Siem Reap — Pradal Serey or Kun Khmer -free fighting- is an unarmed martial art from Cambodia. Compared to other forms..
VISUAL STORY

My Country Is My Family

By Omar Havana / Nepal — Surrounded by stunning forest, Beldangi is an example of how a refugee camp should be. Only one banner and..
VISUAL STORY

Evicting Dreams: The Last Days of the White Building

By Omar Havana / Phnom Penh — On June 6th, the faces of the residents of the White Building showed the sadness of what were their..
VISUAL STORY

The Angkor Hell

By Omar Havana / Siem Reap — Just a few dozen kilometers away from the world-famous Angkor temples, about 300 people have lived for the..
VISUAL STORY

La Vie En Jaune

By Omar Havana / Paris, — Hundreds of thousands of “Gilet Jaunes” (meaning “Yellow Vest” in French) have..
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