Omar Havana

Photographer
    
They Smashed Banks for Pol Pot. Now They are Founding Them
Location: Brussels, Belgium
Nationality: Spanish
Biography: Omar Havana, 1975 Granada, Spain. Spanish Freelance Photojournalist. Based in Brussels, Belgium. Previously based in France 2017-2021, Nepal 2014-2015 and Cambodia 2008 - 2014 ; 2015-2017. Omar has worked as a professional photojournalist since... MORE
Public Story
They Smashed Banks for Pol Pot. Now They are Founding Them
Copyright Omar Havana 2022
Date of Work Feb 2020 - Feb 2020
Updated Apr 2020
Location Malai cambodia
Topics Agriculture, Business, cambodia, Capitalism, cassava, Community, Documentary, Editorial, Essays, Europe Photographer, export, France Photographer, Genocide, Human Rights, Industrial, Khmer Rouge, Media, Paris Photographer, Photography, Photojournalism, Politics, Rural, War

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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They Smashed Banks for Pol Pot. Now They are Founding Them by Omar Havana
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