Omar Havana

Photographer
    
Evicting Dreams: The Last Days of the White Building
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
Evicting Dreams: The Last Days of the White Building
Copyright Omar Havana 2022
Date of Work Sep 2016 - Jul 2017
Updated Jan 2020
Location Phnom Penh
Topics Abandonment, Architecture, Asia, Building, Business, Cambodia, Capitalism, Civil Rights, Community, Development, Documentary, Dreams, Editorial, Essays, Europe Photographer, Eviction, France Photographer, Gentrification, Globalization, History, House, Housing, Human Rights, Iconic, Lifestyle, Media, Paris Photographer, Phnom Penh, Photography, Photojournalism, Politics, Reporting, Residents, Social Issues, White Building

On June 6th, the faces of the residents of the White Building showed the sadness of what were their last days home. During those days, people were rushing to say goodbye to each other, using up every last second in conversations about what it had been like to live in this legendary building for so many years. This was the end; the life of what has probably been the most charismatic building in Phnom Penh came to an end, and with it, the community that has filled this place with magic for so many years.

Designed in 1963, the White Building - the summit of what was the new urban plan of Phnom Penh - will be converted into a 21-story building filled with luxury apartments, parking lots, and commercial areas. The end of the White Building symbolizes what has been in recent years a loss of identity in Phnom Penh, with the destruction of the traditional Khmer and colonial buildings, which has completely transformed the skyline of the city, with most of it yet to some.


Photography: © Omar Havana. All Rights are Reserved

This story was published in BBC and South China Morning Post

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Evicting Dreams: The Last Days of the White Building by Omar Havana
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