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Phnom Penh Water Festival 2016

As the rainy season came to an end and the flow of the Tonle Sap river slowly starts to reverse, Cambodians celebrate the “Bon Om Touk” – the annual water festival.

For three days, thousands of people flocked into the capital Phnom Penh to watch the 259 boats race against each others in front of King Norodom Sihamoni and Prime Minister Hun Sen.

Almost every town and village across Cambodia takes part in the festival, with the biggest and most important competitions held in the waters off the capital’s riverside.

The festival is a very popular Cambodian tradition that can be traced back centuries.

November 12, 2016 - Phnom Penh (Cambodia). People watch the training session of a boat one day before the beginning of the annual water festival. The festival takes place in November along the river side of Phnom Penh and marks a reversal of the flow of the Tonle Sap River. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 12, 2016 – Phnom Penh (Cambodia). People watch the training session of a boat one day before the beginning of the annual water festival. The festival takes place in November along the river side of Phnom Penh and marks a reversal of the flow of the Tonle Sap River. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 13, 2016 - Phnom Penh (Cambodia). A boat crew moves aboard its racing boat, warming up for the first day of racing of the festival. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 13, 2016 – Phnom Penh (Cambodia). A boat crew moves aboard its racing boat, warming up for the first day of racing of the festival. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 13, 2016 - Phnom Penh (Cambodia). A coach encourages his team ahead of the first day of racing of the festival. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 13, 2016 – Phnom Penh (Cambodia). A coach encourages his team ahead of the first day of racing of the festival. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 13, 2016 - Phnom Penh (Cambodia). People hang out in front of the Royal Palace, waiting for the fireworks show. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 13, 2016 – Phnom Penh (Cambodia). People hang out in front of the Royal Palace, waiting for the fireworks show. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 13, 2016 - Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Thousands of people watch the beginning of the competitions from the banks of the Tonle Sap. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 13, 2016 – Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Thousands of people watch the beginning of the competitions from the banks of the Tonle Sap. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 13, 2016 - Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Top officials watch the opening ceremony from the main VIP tent. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 13, 2016 – Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Top officials watch the opening ceremony from the main VIP tent. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 13, 2016 - Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Balloon sellers on the riverside. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 13, 2016 – Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Balloon sellers on the riverside. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 13, 2016 - Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni arrives at the opening ceremony of the festival, followed by Prime Minister Hun Sen. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 13, 2016 – Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni arrives at the opening ceremony of the festival, followed by Prime Minister Hun Sen. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 13, 2016 - Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Thousands of people flocked to the riverside to assist the festival causing traffic congestion around the river side's area. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 13, 2016 – Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Thousands of people flocked to the riverside to assist the festival causing traffic congestion around the river side’s area. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 15, 2016 - Phnom Penh (Cambodia). People are gathered in front of the Royal Palace to enjoy a fireworks show for the closing ceremony of the festival. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 15, 2016 – Phnom Penh (Cambodia). People are gathered in front of the Royal Palace to enjoy a fireworks show for the closing ceremony of the festival. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 14, 2016 - Phnom Penh (Cambodia). A team of racers has a moment of rest between competitions. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 14, 2016 – Phnom Penh (Cambodia). A team of racers has a moment of rest between competitions. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 13, 2016 - Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Thousands of people watch the beginning of the competitions from the riverside of Phnom Penh. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 13, 2016 – Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Thousands of people watch the beginning of the competitions from the riverside of Phnom Penh. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 14, 2016 - Phnom Penh (Cambodia). People follow the races through the screens of their smartphones. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 14, 2016 – Phnom Penh (Cambodia). People follow the races through the screens of their smartphones. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 14, 2016 - Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Racing teams rest beneath the Japanese and Chinese bridges. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 14, 2016 – Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Racing teams rest beneath the Japanese and Chinese bridges. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 14, 2016 - Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Onlookers watch the racing boats from beneath the Japanese and Chinese bridges. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 14, 2016 – Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Onlookers watch the racing boats from beneath the Japanese and Chinese bridges. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 14, 2016 - Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Members of a boat racing team walk towards the tent camp built by the authorities for the participants of the festival. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 14, 2016 – Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Members of a boat racing team walk towards the tent camp built by the authorities for the participants of the festival. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 14, 2016 - Phnom Penh (Cambodia). A boat crew watches the races on a TV installed in one of the camp site used by the participants of the festival. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 14, 2016 – Phnom Penh (Cambodia). A boat crew watches the races on a TV installed in one of the camp site used by the participants of the festival. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 14, 2016 - Phnom Penh (Cambodia). A guy massages a friend inside the tent camp built by the authorities for the participants of the festival. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 14, 2016 – Phnom Penh (Cambodia). A guy massages a friend inside the tent camp built by the authorities for the participants of the festival. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 15, 2016 - Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Balloon sellers on the riverside. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 15, 2016 – Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Balloon sellers on the riverside. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 15, 2016 - Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Members of a racing team celebrate with dances and beers the end of the competitions. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 15, 2016 – Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Members of a racing team celebrate with dances and beers the end of the competitions. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 15, 2016 - Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Thousands of people watch the beginning of the competitions from the banks of the Tonle Sap. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 15, 2016 – Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Thousands of people watch the beginning of the competitions from the banks of the Tonle Sap. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 15, 2016 - Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Members of the security watch the VIP's main tent, where King Norodom Sihamoni, Prime Minister Hun Sen and other top officials are watching the closing ceremony of the festival. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 15, 2016 – Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Members of the security watch the VIP’s main tent, where King Norodom Sihamoni, Prime Minister Hun Sen and other top officials are watching the closing ceremony of the festival. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 15, 2016 - Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Thousands of people watch the beginning of the competitions from the banks of the Tonle Sap. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 15, 2016 – Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Thousands of people watch the beginning of the competitions from the banks of the Tonle Sap. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 15, 2016 - Phnom Penh (Cambodia). View of the VIP's main tent, where King Norodom Sihamoni, Prime Minister Hun Sen and other top officials are watching the closing ceremony of the festival. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 15, 2016 – Phnom Penh (Cambodia). View of the VIP’s main tent, where King Norodom Sihamoni, Prime Minister Hun Sen and other top officials are watching the closing ceremony of the festival. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 15, 2016 - Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Thousands of people gather on the river banks to enjoy a firework show for the closing ceremony of the festival. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 15, 2016 – Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Thousands of people gather on the river banks to enjoy a firework show for the closing ceremony of the festival. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 15, 2016 - Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Actors wait to start their performance in the backstage of one of the stages installed in the biggest tent camp built for the participants of the festival. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 15, 2016 – Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Actors wait to start their performance in the backstage of one of the stages installed in the biggest tent camp built for the participants of the festival. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom

Hei Neak Ta 2016

The Hei Neak Ta – or procession of the spirits – marks the end of the celebrations of the New Year for the Chinese community of Phnom Penh.

For the occasion, thousands of people flock into the streets and participate in a colourful and extravagant procession in which possessed spirit mediums are paraded among the crowd and bless local shops and houses.

 

For more information, my friend and colleague Dene Chen, wrote an article regarding this unusual ceremony in the Cambodia Daily.

 

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Testing the new Sony A7

Yesterday, after more than a month of reflection, I decided to take a plane to Bangkok to buy the new Sony Alpha 7, the first mirror less full frame with interchangeable lenses.

I couldn’t test it deeply, but this is what I was able to catch in 3 hours walking through the streets of Bangkok:


February 09, 2014 - Bangkok (Thailand). © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
February 09, 2014 – Bangkok (Thailand). © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
February 09, 2014 - Bangkok (Thailand). © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
February 09, 2014 – Bangkok (Thailand). © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
February 09, 2014 - Bangkok (Thailand). © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
February 09, 2014 – Bangkok (Thailand). © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
February 09, 2014 - Bangkok (Thailand). © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
February 09, 2014 – Bangkok (Thailand). © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
February 09, 2014 - Bangkok (Thailand). © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
February 09, 2014 – Bangkok (Thailand). © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
February 09, 2014 - Bangkok (Thailand). © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
February 09, 2014 – Bangkok (Thailand). © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
February 09, 2014 - Bangkok (Thailand). © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
February 09, 2014 – Bangkok (Thailand). © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
February 09, 2014 - Bangkok (Thailand). © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
February 09, 2014 – Bangkok (Thailand). © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
February 09, 2014 - Bangkok (Thailand). © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
February 09, 2014 – Bangkok (Thailand). © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
February 09, 2014 - Bangkok (Thailand). © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
February 09, 2014 – Bangkok (Thailand). © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
February 09, 2014 - Bangkok (Thailand). © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
February 09, 2014 – Bangkok (Thailand). © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
February 09, 2014 - Bangkok (Thailand). © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
February 09, 2014 – Bangkok (Thailand). © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
February 09, 2014 - Bangkok (Thailand). © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
February 09, 2014 – Bangkok (Thailand). © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
February 09, 2014 - Bangkok (Thailand). © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
February 09, 2014 – Bangkok (Thailand). © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
February 09, 2014 - Bangkok (Thailand). © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
February 09, 2014 – Above Cambodia. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom

My 2013

2013 has been certainly been an interesting and busy year for me.

I started an amazing adventure called RUOM Collective together with my friend Nicolas Axelrod, my pictures were published in some of the most influential newspapers and magazines (The New York Times, Al Jazeera, The Financial Times, The Guardian, Le Monde, etc) and I was able to create several interesting photo projects.



Blood Sugar

I started the year with a project called Blood Sugarour collective inaugural project – which is an in-depth piece on the boom of the sugar industry in Cambodia, and the effects this rapid development is having on small-scale farmers and rural communities. We spent several months in 2013 travelling to different areas of Cambodia, investigating and interacting with agro-industry leaders, the affected villagers, and the organizations that are trying to help them

 

View of the sugar can plantation of Omlaing that covers more than 19.000 hectares. Omlaing commune, Kompong Speu Province - Cambodia. 09 Jan 2013
View of the sugar cane plantation of Omlaing that covers more than 19.000 hectares. Omlaing commune, Kompong Speu Province – Cambodia. 09 Jan 2013 © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
A woman cuts sugar cane. Sugar plantation of Srei Ambel, Koh Kong, Cambodia. 16 Jan. 2013
A woman cuts sugar cane. Sugar plantation of Srei Ambel, Koh Kong, Cambodia. 16 Jan. 2013 © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
Sugar cane collectors wait to be payed after a hard day of working. They earn around 2.5 USD per day, and their employment normally lasts only three months for year.  Sugar plantation of Srei Ambel, Koh Kong, Cambodia. 16 Jan. 2013
Sugar cane collectors wait to be payed after a hard day of working. They earn around 2.5 USD per day, and their employment normally lasts only three months per year. Sugar plantation of Srei Ambel, Koh Kong, Cambodia. 16 Jan. 2013 © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
K. K. (13) hugs his litle sister after a day working in the sugar cane plantations.  Chhoyk village, Srei Ambel district, Koh Kong, Cambodia. 15 Jan. 2013
K. K. (13) hugs his litle sister after a day working in the sugar cane plantations. Chhoyk village, Srei Ambel district, Koh Kong, Cambodia. 15 Jan. 2013 © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
Take a look at the full reportage

 



Thaipusam Festival 2013

I then visited Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia), where I was lucky enough to witness one of the most important Hindu festival in Malaysia, the Thaipusam, in which more than 1.6 million Tamils gathered in the Batu Caves on the outskirts of city to pay homage to Lord Muruga.

 

Thaipusam 2013
27/01/13 – Batu Caves (Kuala Lumpur). A devotee pulls a chariot with hooks embedded in his back. This devotees are brought into a trance, whereupon they can apparently be lanced and skewered without feeling pain. © Thomas Cristofoletti
Thaipusam 2013
27/01/13 – Batu Caves (Kuala Lumpur). A devotee in a state of trance during the Thaipusam Festival. Devotees are brought into a trance, whereupon they can apparently be lanced and skewered without feeling pain. © Thomas Cristofoletti
Take a look at the full reportage



The death of a king

Back again to Cambodia, I covered the funerals of King Father Norodom Sihanouk, who passed away in October 2012. Following tradition and with respect for an auspicious funeral date the cremation ceremony began on the 1 February 2013. An elaborate procession attended by officials, that displayed various aspects of Khmer culture travelled the streets of the capital. People from all over the city came to watch the procession that took the late King Father from the Royal Palace to the Veal Meru Crematorium site. The actual cremation started three days later and was attended by local and international dignitaries. Nearly one year later a 1.2 million dollars bronze statue is inaugurated in honour of what many saw as the last true Cambodian King.

 

Phnom Penh (01/02/2013). A security agent scans a group of Buddhist monks ahead of the start of the funeral of the former Cambodian King Sihanouk.
Febuary 1, 2013 – Phnom Penh. A security agent scans a group of Buddhist monks ahead of the start of the funeral of King Norodom Sihanouk. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
03/02/2013 - Phnom Penh. Thousands of Cambodians are lined in front of the Royal Palace of Phnom Penh to enter the Crematorium and pay their last respects to the late king Sihanouk, on the third day of his funeral.
Febuary 3, 2013 – Phnom Penh. Thousands of Cambodians are lined in front of the Royal Palace to enter the Crematorium and pay their last respects to King Norodom Sihanouk, on the third day of his funeral. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
Febuary 5, 2013 - Phnom Penh. Cambodian women cry as they witness the cremation of King Norodom Sihanouk. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
Febuary 5, 2013 – Phnom Penh. Cambodian women cry as they witness the cremation of King Norodom Sihanouk. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
Take a look at the full reportage



Demining in the depths

This is one of the most interesting stories I followed this year. The training of Cam­bo­dia’s first batch of salvage divers who will start to recover the thousands of tons of unexploded artillery shells and bullets that lie at the bottom of the country’s lakes and rivers.

 

Deminers from the Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC) practice stretching on the shore of Independence Beach - Sihanoukville.
Febuary 14, 2013 – Sihanoukville. Deminers from the Cambodian Mine Action Center (CMAC) practice stretching on the shore of Independence Beach – Sihanoukville. © Thomas Cristofoletti
Febuary 14, 2013 - Sihanoukville. Physical exercise pushes the divers to their limits.
Physical exercise pushes the divers to their limits. © Thomas Cristofoletti
Tourists look on as staff from the Cambodia Mine Action Center learn how to scuba dive in a hotel's pool in Sihanoukville.
Febuary 14, 2013 – Sihanoukville. Tourists look on as staff from the Cambodia Mine Action Center learn how to scuba dive in a hotel’s pool in Sihanoukville. © Thomas Cristofoletti
Febuary 19, 2013 - Sihanoukville. A group of deminers makes practice during a night diving in the port of Koh Rong.
A group of deminers makes practice during a night diving in the port of Koh Rong. © Thomas Cristofoletti
Take a look at the full reportage



Mam Sonando is free

Finally, great news for all human rights defenders in Cambodia. Cambodian activist and independent radio station owner, Mam Sonando, was released from jail after his 20-year sentence was suspended by the Phnom Penh court yesterday (he spent a total of eight months in preventive custody).

 

15/03/2013 - Phnom Penh. Cambodian activist Mam Sonando is carried on a chair to cheers from thousands of supporters, gathered in front of Phnom Penh's Prey Sar prison, minutes after his release. Charged with insurrection, Sonando has spent a total of eight months in jail.
15/03/2013 – Phnom Penh. Cambodian activist Mam Sonando is carried on a chair to cheers from thousands of supporters, gathered in front of Phnom Penh’s Prey Sar prison, minutes after his release. Charged with insurrection, Sonando has spent a total of eight months in jail.
Take a look at the full reportage



The boom of Cambodia’s orphanage tourism

In April German magazine Nido (Stern Group), commissioned a reportage about the increasing (and alarming) number of tourists visiting orphanages in Cambodia.

Since the days of the genocidal Khmer Rouge Regime and the following civil war, which ended in the early 90′s, the number of orphans steadily decrease. The number of orphanages, however, kept increasing, and the majority of children living in orphanages – more than 70 percent – has at least one remaining parent.

Due to the generosity of tourists who want to help the still impoverished nation and the most vulnerable Cambodians, orphanages have become a lucrative, multimillion-dollar business model, and tourists are tricked into believing that they are helping real orphans.

 

03/04/2013 - Siem Reap (Cambodia). Aid organizations estimate that there are currently 800 orphanages in Cambodia. Just 21 of these statal and just 300 are registered with the Ministery of Interior. © Thomas Cristofoletti 2013
03/04/2013 – Siem Reap (Cambodia). Aid organizations estimate that there are currently 800 orphanages in Cambodia. Just 21 of these statal and just 300 are registered with the Ministery of Interior. © Thomas Cristofoletti 2013
04/04/2013 - Siem Reap (Cambodia). A group of tourists from Norway take pictures and play with some of the kids who live in Acodo, one of the largest and most visited orphanage in Siem Reap. Playing with and hugging the children may make a tremendous impact on the tourists - and a great photo opportunity - but does little to support the needs of the children.  © Thomas Cristofoletti 2013
04/04/2013 – Siem Reap (Cambodia). A group of tourists from Norway take pictures and play with some of the kids who live in Acodo, one of the largest and most visited orphanage in Siem Reap. Playing with and hugging the children may make a tremendous impact on the tourists – and a great photo opportunity – but does little to support the needs of the children. © Thomas Cristofoletti 2013
05/04/2013 - Angkor Thom (Cambodia). Around 1.12 million  tourists visited the temples of Ankgor in the first half of this year and orphanage visits have seemingly become part of the Cambodian travel experience, expecially for organized tours.© Thomas Cristofoletti 2013
05/04/2013 – Angkor Thom (Cambodia). Around 1.12 million tourists visited the temples of Ankgor in the first half of this year and orphanage visits have seemingly become part of the Cambodian travel experience, expecially for organized tours.© Thomas Cristofoletti 2013
05/04/2013 - Siem Reap (Cambodia). A mother sleeps on the street with her 2 small kids.  One-third of Cambodian children is estimated living below the poverty line and exposed to sex abuses and human trafficking. © Thomas Cristofoletti 2013
05/04/2013 – Siem Reap (Cambodia). A mother sleeps on the street with her 2 small kids. One-third of Cambodian children is estimated living below the poverty line and exposed to sex abuses and human trafficking. © Thomas Cristofoletti 2013
05/04/2013 - Siem Reap (Cambodia). A mother sleeps on the street with her 2 small kids.  One-third of Cambodian children is estimated living below the poverty line and exposed to sex abuses and human trafficking. © Thomas Cristofoletti 2013
The opening double spread of the reportage on the June’s issue of Nido Magazin
Take a look at the full reportage



My first The New York Times

In April I also received my first two assignments (plus a third one covering a breaking news) for The New York Times and I couldn’t believe when I saw one of my pictures on the frontpage of The International Herald Tribune, a dream come true!

 

April 10, 2013. My first frontpage on The International Herald Tribune.
April 10, 2013. My first frontpage on The International Herald Tribune.
April 10, 2013. My first assignement for The New York Time is online.
One of my pictures on the NYT’s website.
People looked for survivors following a ceiling collapse at a shoe factory in Cambodia on Thursday. © Thomas Cristofoletti for The New York Times
One of the pictures was also chosen and published on LENS blog.



Inside the 969 Movement

For our second collaborative work for Ruom, Inside the 969 Movement we flew to Myanmar to work on an in-depth piece on the inner workings and consequences of the growing Buddhist-lead anti-Muslim movement.

 

A woman, who returned to her burnt home in Meikhtila recovers pieces of a burnt Koran. 11 June 2013 © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom Collective
11 June, 2013. A woman, who returned to her burnt home in Meikhtila recovers pieces of a burnt Koran. © Thomas Cristofoletti/Ruom
A woman, who returned to her burnt home in Meikhtila recovers pieces of a burnt Koran. 11 June 2013 © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom Collective
22 June, 2013. Young Buddhist nuns board the ferry crossing the Hlaing river over to downton Yangon. © Thomas Cristofoletti/Ruom
Wirathu and his entourage leave after ending an anti-muslim sermon in front of hundreds of supporters, just four blocks away from the Dhamma Tharlar Hall (Mandalay), in which several local organizations and civil society activists organized a peace event to prevent future riots. 23 June 2013 © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
23 June, 2013. Wirathu and his entourage leave after ending an anti-muslim sermon in front of hundreds of supporters, just four blocks away from the Dhamma Tharlar Hall (Mandalay), in which several local organizations and civil society activists organized a peace event to prevent future riots. © Thomas Cristofoletti/Ruom
Take a look at the full reportage



Cambodia Political Elections 2013

After the experience in Myanmar, I came back to Cambodia, just in time to cover the campaign for the national elections with the return of the opposition leader, Sam Rainsy.

 

19 July, 2013 - Phnom Penh. Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha leave the airport of Phnom Penh surrounded by thousands of supporters of the CNRP party. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
19 July, 2013 – Phnom Penh. Sam Rainsy and Kem Sokha leave the airport of Phnom Penh surrounded by thousands of supporters of the CNRP party. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
26 July, 2013 - Phnom Penh. A CPP (Cambodia People's Party) supporter yawns, waiting the beginning of a parade organized by at Koh Pich Island for the last day of campaign for the Cambodian Election 2013. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
26 July, 2013 – Phnom Penh. A CPP (Cambodia People’s Party) supporter yawns, waiting the beginning of a parade organized by at Koh Pich Island for the last day of campaign for the Cambodian Election 2013. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
26 July, 2013 - Phnom Penh. Opposition leader Sam Rainsy meets with supporters gathered at Freedom Park in Phnom Penh, for the last day of campaign for the Cambodian Election 2013. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
26 July, 2013 – Phnom Penh. Opposition leader Sam Rainsy meets with supporters gathered at Freedom Park in Phnom Penh, for the last day of campaign for the Cambodian Election 2013. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
26 July, 2013 - Phnom Penh. CPP (Cambodia People's Party) supporters parade in front of the Independence Monument of Phnom Penh for the last day of campaign for the Cambodian Election 2013. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
26 July, 2013 – Phnom Penh. CPP (Cambodia People’s Party) supporters parade in front of the Independence Monument of Phnom Penh for the last day of campaign for the Cambodian Election 2013. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
28 July, 2013 - Phnom Penh. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen casts his ballot on the general elections at Ta Khmau Town in Kandal province, 15km away from the capital Phnom Penh. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
28 July, 2013 – Phnom Penh. Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen casts his ballot on the general elections at Ta Khmau Town in Kandal province, 15km away from the capital Phnom Penh. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
28 July, 2013 - Phnom Penh. A mob errupted in violence after a man punched a monk during an alteration between voters and a National Election Committee employee in Stung Menchey, in the south of Phnom Penh. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
28 July, 2013 – Phnom Penh. A mob errupted in violence after a man punched a monk during an alteration between voters and a National Election Committee employee in Stung Menchey, in the south of Phnom Penh. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
28 July, 2013 - Phnom Penh. Disgruntled voters riot and destroy a military police pick-up truck on Sunday evening, following hours of protests over names missing from the vote register at an election voting station in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
28 July, 2013 – Phnom Penh. Disgruntled voters riot and destroy a military police pick-up truck on Sunday evening, following hours of protests over names missing from the vote register at an election voting station in Phnom Penh’s Meanchey district. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom

Don Sahong fishermen

After almost two months following the elections and the first wave of protests in response to allegd voting irregularities and fraud, I travelled to south of Laos to document the life of the fishermen whose livelihood is threatened by the construction of the Don Sahong Dam. Environmentalists say that this new dam will put at risk the ecological integrity of the Lower Mekong as a whole. In particular, it will have a severe impact on the endangered giant catfish, other fish species — some of them unique to the Mekong — and the Irrwaddy dolphin, which has found a natural habitat just two kilometers from the dam and is already critically endangered.

My reportage, together with the amazing work of Thai photographer Piyavit Thongsa-Ard, could be the last documenting the way of life of these people.

 

A fisherman mends his Ly trap at the Khone Phapheng falls.04/08/2013 © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
A fisherman mends his Ly trap at the Khone Phapheng falls.04/08/2013 © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
A fisherman fights against the ferocious current of the Khone Phapheng falls, in order to clean a "Ly Trap" - a traditional bamboo made trap - from debries. Traps need continuous maintenance as sticks, small branches and grass get entangled, which would deprive the fishermen of their catch – and their only income.04/08/2013 © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
A fisherman fights against the ferocious current of the Khone Phapheng falls, in order to clean a “Ly Trap” – a traditional bamboo made trap – from debries. Traps need continuous maintenance as sticks, small branches and grass get entangled, which would deprive the fishermen of their catch – and their only income.04/08/2013 © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
Fishes are sold in Nakasang, from where the majority is taken to Pakse, the provincial capital of Campasak. 05/08/2013 © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
Fishes are sold in Nakasang, from where the majority is taken to Pakse, the provincial capital of Campasak. 05/08/2013 © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
A fisherman leaves Don Det Island on his boat. 07/08/2013 © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
A fisherman leaves Don Det Island on his boat. 07/08/2013 © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
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The story has been published on Aljazeera and on the South East Asia GLOBE
Read the story on Al Jazeera

 

Protests in Cambodia continue

Cambodian opposition leader Sam Rainsy started a planned three-day protest with a march through the streets of Phnom Penh together with thousands of supporters to contest the election results.

Unfortunately, an altercation between angry commuters trying to get home past road blocks degenerated in to chaos, protestors threw projectiles at riot police who responded with tear gas and live rounds. One protestor was shot dead, and people were injured, the fighting lasted well into the night, with the last reported outbreak around 1.30 am.

 

15 September, 2013 - Phnom Penh. Thousands of CNRP (Cambodian National Rescue Party) supporters march together with opposition leader Sam Rainsy through the streets of Phnom Penh to protest against the election results. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
15 September, 2013 – Phnom Penh. Thousands of CNRP (Cambodian National Rescue Party) supporters march together with opposition leader Sam Rainsy through the streets of Phnom Penh to protest against the election results. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
15 September, 2013 - Phnom Penh. Police prevent access to Norodom Boulevard to opposition CNRP (Cambodian National Rescue Party) supporters, placing barricades of barbed wire in their path. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
15 September, 2013 – Phnom Penh. Police prevent access to Norodom Boulevard to opposition CNRP (Cambodian National Rescue Party) supporters, placing barricades of barbed wire in their path. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
15 September, 2013 - Phnom Penh. Clashes erupt in Phnom Penh after commuters were barred from returning home. Angry protestors confronted riot police who responded with tear gas and live rounds. The leading opposition party, the CNRP, are holding three day mass demonstrations to contest the Cambodian general election results. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
15 September, 2013 – Phnom Penh. Clashes erupt in Phnom Penh after commuters were barred from returning home. Angry protestors confronted riot police who responded with tear gas and live rounds. The leading opposition party, the CNRP, are holding three day mass demonstrations to contest the Cambodian general election results. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
15 September, 2013 - Phnom Penh. A Cambodia man carries an injured protester to an ambulance during a clash with police in Phnom Penh on September 15, 2013. Violent clashes erupted in the Cambodian capital on Sunday, leaving one protester dead and several wounded as thousands gathered to challenge strongman premier Hun Sen's disputed election win, witnesses said. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
15 September, 2013 – Phnom Penh. A Cambodia man carries an injured protester to an ambulance during a clash with police in Phnom Penh on September 15, 2013. Violent clashes erupted in the Cambodian capital on Sunday, leaving one protester dead and several wounded as thousands gathered to challenge strongman premier Hun Sen’s disputed election win, witnesses said. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
15 September, 2013 - Phnom Penh. Clashes erupt in Phnom Penh after commuters were barred from returning home. Angry protestors confronted riot police who responded with tear gas and live rounds. The leading opposition party, the CNRP, are holding three day mass demonstrations to contest the Cambodian general election results. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
15 September, 2013 – Phnom Penh. Clashes erupt in Phnom Penh after commuters were barred from returning home. Angry protestors confronted riot police who responded with tear gas and live rounds. The leading opposition party, the CNRP, are holding three day mass demonstrations to contest the Cambodian general election results. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
One of my pictures on Time Magazine
One of my pictures on Time Magazine
Another on Le Monde.
Another on Le Monde.
Take a look at the full reportage

Pchum Ben festival’s buffalo race

Thousands of Cambodians descended on the small village of Vihear Suor (Kandal Province) on October 4 to cheer on the annual water buffalo race that marks the end of the 15-day festival for the dead (Pchum Ben), the most important Cambodian religious event.

The race, that has very ancient roots, is organised for the entertainment of the spirits who have come to Earth during the Pchum Ben and is also be followed by wrestling and khmer boxe matches.

 

04/10/2013 - Vihear Suor (Kandal - Cambodia). Chap Linch (25), cleans his horse minutes before the beginning of the annual races held as part of the Festival of the Dead (Pchum Ben) in the small village of Vihear Suor.© Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom.
04/10/2013 – Vihear Suor (Kandal – Cambodia). Chap Linch (25), cleans his horse minutes before the beginning of the annual races held as part of the Festival of the Dead (Pchum Ben) in the small village of Vihear Suor.© Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom.
04/10/2013 - Vihear Suor (Kandal - Cambodia). Buffalo riders compete during the annual races held as part of the Festival of the Dead (Pchum Ben) in the small village of Vihear Suor. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom.
04/10/2013 – Vihear Suor (Kandal – Cambodia). Buffalo riders compete during the annual races held as part of the Festival of the Dead (Pchum Ben) in the small village of Vihear Suor. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom.
Take a look at the full reportage

 

A march for the environment

On Sunday, 3 November 2013, I followed a very interesting story together with fellow Ruom writer and photographer Luc Forsyth, as a group of over 40 Buddhist monks walked more than 25km through the jungle to the remote village of Pra Lay, Cambodia, to raise awareness of the environmental destruction occurring across their country. Situated in the Areng Valley in the Cardamom mountains, the village of Pra Lay is one of 8 villages, collectively home to roughly 1500 inhabitants, which will be flooded by a dam proposed by the Chinese development company China Guodian.

 

November 4, 2013 - Areng Valley (Koh Kong). 2 monks walk through a field on the way back to Pra Lay Village. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 4, 2013 – Areng Valley (Koh Kong). 2 monks walk through a field on the way back to Pra Lay Village. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 4, 2013 - Areng Valley (Koh Kong). A monk during a tree-blessing ceremony in a forest nearby Pra Lay Village. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 4, 2013 – Areng Valley (Koh Kong). A monk during a tree-blessing ceremony in a forest nearby Pra Lay Village. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 5, 2013 - Areng Valley (Koh Kong). Monks and youth volunteers carry a 80m saffron cloth though the small Pra Lay Village to raise awareness of the environmental destruction the construction will cause to the Areng Valley. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 5, 2013 – Areng Valley (Koh Kong). Monks and youth volunteers carry a 80m saffron cloth though the small Pra Lay Village to raise awareness of the environmental destruction the construction will cause to the Areng Valley. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
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The story on Aljazeera
Read the story on Al Jazeera

 

Instability continues in the country

Political environment in Cambodia has changed after July’s elections and the country is experimenting a new wave (and more powerful) rejection against the ruling party. Is the case of the workers from SL factory, which makes clothing for Gap, H&M and other international brands, who have been protesting for months for better working conditions and pay.

 

October 21, 2013 - Phnom Penh. Riot police men push back about a thousand SL garment factory workers who organise a sit-in in front of Prime Minister Hun Sen's house. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom 2013
October 21, 2013 – Phnom Penh. Riot police men push back about a thousand SL garment factory workers who organise a sit-in in front of Prime Minister Hun Sen’s house. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom 2013
November 12, 2013 - Stung Manchey (Phnom Penh). Military police leave Stung Manchey's pagoda after randomly arresting anyone who was gathering inside, included at least 7 buddhist monks. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 12, 2013 – Stung Manchey (Phnom Penh). Military police leave Stung Manchey’s pagoda after randomly arresting anyone who was gathering inside, included at least 7 buddhist monks. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 12, 2013 - Stung Manchey (Phnom Penh). Military police violently push into a firetruck, one of the 28 people arrested after violence erupted between garment factory workers and security forces. In the clahes a 49-year-old rice vendor was shot and several other people got injured. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom
November 12, 2013 – Stung Manchey (Phnom Penh). Military police violently push into a firetruck, one of the 28 people arrested after violence erupted between garment factory workers and security forces. In the clahes a 49-year-old rice vendor was shot and several other people got injured. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom

 

UNDP’s Millennium Development Goals

At the end of October together with Nicolas, we received an assignment from UNDP Cambodia to illustrate the status of the (MDG) – Millennium Development Goals – in the country. It was a very long and interesting project that kept us busy for almost one month and that allowed us to visit some of the most interesting areas of the country.

 

November 30, 2013 - Lvea village, Seang kveang Commune - (Prey Veng).  Ms Eam Pom (62) cuts organic rice with a sickle during a crop harvest in paddy field outside the community. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom for UNDP
November 30, 2013 – Lvea village, Seang kveang Commune – (Prey Veng). Ms Eam Pom (62) cuts organic rice with a sickle during a crop harvest in paddy field outside the community. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom for UNDP
November 20, 2013 - Beung Kachhang village (Koh Kong). Mr. Lay Pich (31), her wife Hun Sophear  (32) and their children Hun sombath (4) go fishing in the mangrove forest that surround the village. Even if the community is inside a natural protected area, Illegal sand dredging in the area have decimated the number of fish and crabs and it's more and more difficult to catch enough food for the local families. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom for UNDP
November 20, 2013 – Beung Kachhang village (Koh Kong). Mr. Lay Pich (31), her wife Hun Sophear (32) and their children Hun sombath (4) go fishing in the mangrove forest that surround the village. Even if the community is inside a natural protected area, Illegal sand dredging in the area have decimated the number of fish and crabs and it’s more and more difficult to catch enough food for the local families. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom for UNDP
November 18, 2013 - Tatai Valley (Koh Kong). Powerlines are built in the jungle for the 246 megawatts Tatai River Dam, one of the several hydroelectric projects that Chinese companies are building around the country to answer to the chronicle shortfall of electricity. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom for UNDP
November 18, 2013 – Tatai Valley (Koh Kong). Powerlines are built in the jungle for the 246 megawatts Tatai River Dam, one of the several hydroelectric projects that Chinese companies are building around the country to answer to the chronicle shortfall of electricity. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom for UNDP
November 20, 2013 - Peam Krasop Wildlife Sanctuary (Koh Kong). The remains of a mangrove forest. Indiscriminate and illegal sand dredging, rising sea levels, big waves and storms have taken a toll. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom for UNDP
November 20, 2013 – Peam Krasop Wildlife Sanctuary (Koh Kong). The remains of a mangrove forest. Indiscriminate and illegal sand dredging, rising sea levels, big waves and storms have taken a toll. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom for UNDP
November 29, 2013 - Peam Jheang village (Kampong Cham). Manual laborers in a rubber plantation inside an Economic Land Concession. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom for UNDP
November 29, 2013 – Peam Jheang village (Kampong Cham). Manual laborers in a rubber plantation inside an Economic Land Concession. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom for UNDP
November 28, 2013 - Sterng Chey Commune (Kompong Cham). Mr En Noy (55) rides his bycicle on the way back to his home. He was a soldier during the war and he lost a leg as the conseguence of a bullet. Nowadays he has a small bike repair shop in the village. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom for UNDP
November 28, 2013 – Sterng Chey Commune (Kompong Cham). Mr En Noy (55) rides his bycicle on the way back to his home. He was a soldier during the war and he lost a leg as the conseguence of a bullet. Nowadays he has a small bike repair shop in the village. © Thomas Cristofoletti / Ruom for UNDP
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November 29, 2013 – Lvea village (Prey Veng). A boy brings his buffalos back home.

A place (almost) called home

2 days visiting Bocca di Saval together with a great friend (re)discovering the surroundings of my home town, Riva del Garda, in the north of Italy.

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2 days visiting Bocca di Saval together with a great friend.
After one hour and half here we are. Bocca di Saval.
2 days visiting Bocca di Saval together with a great friend.
The place is amazing.
2 days visiting Bocca di Saval together with a great friend.
My friend Daniele.
2 days visiting Bocca di Saval together with a great friend.
Weather is not very good, and it’s freezing, but the landscape is breathtaking.
2 days visiting Bocca di Saval together with a great friend.
2 days visiting Bocca di Saval together with a great friend.
h 05.55, it’s time to start our climb to the top of the mountain.
2 days visiting Bocca di Saval together with a great friend.
It’s freezing but the view is outstanding.
2 days visiting Bocca di Saval together with a great friend.
Good morning world!
2 days visiting Bocca di Saval together with a great friend. 2 days visiting Bocca di Saval together with a great friend.
2 days visiting Bocca di Saval together with a great friend.
The massif of Brenta on the distance.
2 days visiting Bocca di Saval together with a great friend.
A breathtaking view of the lake of Ledro.
2 days visiting Bocca di Saval together with a great friend.
Our climb continues.
2 days visiting Bocca di Saval together with a great friend.
Almost there…
2 days visiting Bocca di Saval together with a great friend.
And here we are, on the top of the world! – photo by Daniele Zucchelli
2 days visiting Bocca di Saval together with a great friend. 2 days visiting Bocca di Saval together with a great friend. 2 days visiting Bocca di Saval together with a great friend. 2 days visiting Bocca di Saval together with a great friend.

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Phnom Penh is on fire (part 2)!

Living just a few meters from the Phnom Penh’s Fire Station, allowed me in the past to realise if someone had been playing with fire around the city (and documented it).

And it has just happened a couple of hours ago! I heard the sirens, followed the trucks and I found myself in the middle of a battle against a big blaze broken up in the XO Club, a huge Karaoke bar nearby the Russian Market…

Here’s visual reportage:

and don’t miss “Phnom Penh is on fire (part 1)”

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01/07/2013 - The fire brigade of Phnom Penh tries to extinguish a blaze broken out in the XO Club nearby the Russian Market .
01/07/2013 – The fire brigade of Phnom Penh tries to extinguish a blaze broken out in the XO Club nearby the Russian Market .
01/07/2013 - The fire brigade of Phnom Penh tries to extinguish a blaze broken out in the XO Club nearby the Russian Market .
01/07/2013 – The blaze broken out a few meter aways from a petrol station. Hopefully nothing happened!
01/07/2013 - The fire brigade of Phnom Penh tries to extinguish a blaze broken out in the XO Club nearby the Russian Market .
01/07/2013 – The fire brigade of Phnom Penh tries to extinguish a blaze broken out in the XO Club nearby the Russian Market .
01/07/2013 - The fire brigade of Phnom Penh tries to extinguish a blaze broken out in the XO Club nearby the Russian Market .
01/07/2013 – People helping firefighters to extinguish a blaze broken out in the XO Club nearby the Russian Market .
01/07/2013 - The fire brigade of Phnom Penh tries to extinguish a blaze broken out in the XO Club nearby the Russian Market .
01/07/2013 – The fire brigade of Phnom Penh tries to extinguish a blaze broken out in the XO Club nearby the Russian Market .
01/07/2013 - The fire brigade of Phnom Penh tries to extinguish a blaze broken out in the XO Club nearby the Russian Market .
01/07/2013 – The fire brigade of Phnom Penh tries to extinguish a blaze broken out in the XO Club nearby the Russian Market .
01/07/2013 - The fire brigade of Phnom Penh tries to extinguish a blaze broken out in the XO Club nearby the Russian Market .
01/07/2013 – The fire brigade of Phnom Penh tries to extinguish a blaze broken out in the XO Club nearby the Russian Market .
01/07/2013 - The fire brigade of Phnom Penh tries to extinguish a blaze broken out in the XO Club nearby the Russian Market .
01/07/2013 – The fire brigade of Phnom Penh tries to extinguish a blaze broken out in the XO Club nearby the Russian Market .
01/07/2013 - The fire brigade of Phnom Penh tries to extinguish a blaze broken out in the XO Club nearby the Russian Market .
01/07/2013 – The fire brigade of Phnom Penh tries to extinguish a blaze broken out in the XO Club nearby the Russian Market .
01/07/2013 - The fire brigade of Phnom Penh tries to extinguish a blaze broken out in the XO Club nearby the Russian Market .
01/07/2013 – The fire brigade of Phnom Penh tries to extinguish a blaze broken out in the XO Club nearby the Russian Market .
01/07/2013 - The fire brigade of Phnom Penh tries to extinguish a blaze broken out in the XO Club nearby the Russian Market .
01/07/2013 – The fire brigade of Phnom Penh tries to extinguish a blaze broken out in the XO Club nearby the Russian Market .
01/07/2013 - The fire brigade of Phnom Penh tries to extinguish a blaze broken out in the XO Club nearby the Russian Market .
01/07/2013 – The fire brigade of Phnom Penh tries to extinguish a blaze broken out in the XO Club nearby the Russian Market .
01/07/2013 - The fire brigade of Phnom Penh tries to extinguish a blaze broken out in the XO Club nearby the Russian Market .
01/07/2013 – The fire brigade of Phnom Penh tries to extinguish a blaze broken out in the XO Club nearby the Russian Market .
01/07/2013 - The fire brigade of Phnom Penh tries to extinguish a blaze broken out in the XO Club nearby the Russian Market .
01/07/2013 – The fire brigade of Phnom Penh tries to extinguish a blaze broken out in the XO Club nearby the Russian Market .

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My 2012

Maybe a little late, here’s my selection of my best pictures from 2012.

For sure, it has been a very intense and productive year in which a lot of important things has happened: after some months in spain and around Europe, I finally moved to Cambodia, I visited a lot of amazing places all around Asia (especially Myanmar), several of my pictures were published in international magazines and newspaper and I got my first assignment for the International Herald Tribune.

I got a lot of expectation, ideas and plans for this next year and a good feeling that it will be even better than 2012.

Have an happy new year,

Thomas.

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27/02/2012 – Nokia (Finland) where I shot part of the reportage “Chasing the dream: Luca Sturniolo”.
23/02/2012 – Nokia (Finland). Luca Sturniolo with his 2 sons and his daughter. The photo is part of the reportage “Chasing the dream: Luca Sturniolo”.
19/03/2012 – Schipol Airport (Holland).
25/03/2012 – Paris (France).
20/04/2012 – Madrid (Spain). A picture part of the communication campaign for the project “VÍSTETE” I made for the Spanish NGO NETIOLIÓ.The aim of the project is to create garments made of African Kanga (a typical African fabric) in a style which best fits our way of dressing. All the dresses are made by 3 Senegalese women who live in the small village of Kafountine, South of Senegal. With the money earned from selling them in Spain, they recover the production costs as well as buy new materials to keep production going and give them a hope for a better future.
30/04/2012 – Sunset @ Val D’Orcia – Toscana (Italy).
12/05/2012 – Spain’s indignados return to the streets Madrid (Spain).
03/06/2012 – Waiting for a flight connection in Dubai’s airport (United Arab Emirates).
18/06/2012 – Siem Reap’s bus station (Cambodia).
17/06/2012 – Siem Reap (Cambodia). The young Cambodian artist Savann Oun posing in front of one of his work, exhibited at Art Deli in Siem Reap. This portrait is part of my ongoing project “Once upon a time in Cambodia”.
22/06/2012 “Phare Ponleu Selpak” – the school of circus of Battambang (Cambodia). This portrait is part of my ongoing project “Once upon a time in Cambodia”.
25/06/2012 “Phare Ponleu Selpak” – the school of circus of Battambang (Cambodia). This portrait is part of my ongoing project “Once upon a time in Cambodia”.
30/06/2012 – An afternoon in the arena: Neak Pradals (cambodian boxers) – Phnom Penh (Cambodia).
29/07/2012 – Koh Rong Island (Cambodia).
05/08/2012 – Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam).
05/08/2012 – Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam).
10/08/2012 – A Khmer Krom monk in a pagoda just outside Tra Vinh (Vietnam). This photo is part of an ongoing project called “Khmer Krom: the nowhere people”
10/08/2012 – Tra Vinh Province (Vietnam) in the heart of the Mekong Delta hosts one of the largest populations of ethnic Khmer in the country. The province has more the 140 Temples and Pagodas. This photo is part of an ongoing project called “Khmer Krom: the nowhere people”
15/08/2012 – Members of the Cham’s community of Chau Doc (Vietnam), preparing food in the last day of the Ramadam. This photo is part of an ongoing project called “Khmer Krom: the nowhere people”
15/08/2012 – A Cham’s cemetery in Chau Doc (Vietnam). This photo is part of an ongoing project called “Khmer Krom: the nowhere people”
15/08/2012 – Chau Doc (Vietnam).
28/08/2012 – Kompong Pluk (Cambodia).
31/08/2012 – Yangon (Myanmar – Burma).
06/08/2012 – Waiting for the train in Pyin Oo Lwin (Myanmar – Burma).
13/09/2012 – Somewhere nearby Inle Lake (Myanmar – Burma).
16/09/2012 – Burmese boxe’s match (Lethwei) @ Yangon (Myanmar – Burma).
20/10/2012 – Monks pay respect for the death of Cambodian king Norodom Sihanouk – Phnom Penh (Cambodia).
07/11/2012 – Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Close to 1000 sympathizers protested in front of the Appeals Court of Phnom Penh supporting two arrested female land activists, Tim Sakmony and Yorm Bopha. The crowds efforts were in vain as the court denied the women bail.
17/11/2012. Johan Mars, 28, from Gotheburg (Sweden), shoots with a semi-automatic rifle in the shooting field inside the military base of 911 Airborne Brigade, just outstide Phnom Penh (Cambodia). This photo is part of my first assignment for the International Herald Tribune
19/11/2012 – Phnom Penh. Riot police carrying new Chinese made electrified shields blocked a peaceful protest by members of Phnom Penh’s evicted communities as they attempted to demonstrate in front of the US Embassy demanding fair treatment ahead of upcoming ASEAN meetings.
19/11/2012 – Phnom Penh. For the second time during the day, one hundred land activists gathered in the sand of the Boeung Kak Lake to send an SOS message to U.S. President Obama who landed in the late afternoon in the near airport of Phnom Penh to assist the ASEAN meetings.
23/11/2012 – Phnom Penh. Part of the piece of land where was the community of Borei Keila.
10/12/12 – Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Over a hundred evicted community members from the Boeung Kak Lake area together with other activists tried to reach the Council of Ministers building to deliver a petition on International Human Rights Day but were blocked by riot police.
14/12/12 – Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Despite the direct intervention of the UN, the appeal court of Phnom Penh denied human rights activist Mom Sonando‘s request for bail. Hundreds of people gathered outside to support him and then organized a sit-in in front of the UN headquarters.
17/12/12 – Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Behind the scene of the last 2 days of shooting of “3.50”, a Singapore-financed dramatic thriller about human trafficking in Cambodia co-direct by Chhay Bora — whose first feature film “Lost Loves” is Cambodia’s second-ever official entry to the Oscar’s for foreign language film this year. This photos is part of my ongoing project “Once upon a time in Cambodia”.
26/12/12 – Phnom Penh (Cambodia). Police block the protest of 200 land activists nearby the Municipal Court of Phnom Penh, waiting for the result of the trials against T. Sakmony and Y. Bopha. Both detentions were considered fabricated and a violation of human Rights.

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Phnom Penh is on fire!

This afternoon I was riding my motorbike when, nearby the Central Market, I bumped into a blaze.

A good amount of smoke were coming out from a Chinese bar/restaurant and from the first floor of the building. The road was blocked by a huge amount of Fire Fighters’ trucks (for the size of the blaze), at least 40-50 policemen and curious people.

The atmosphere was really unreal… a real chaos, nobody was really understanding what to do and how do it… so, I dragged out my Press Pass and I started to take pictures…

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I think I counted 8 firemen’s trucks around the area of the fire.
Firemen at work.
Mhh, maybe there’s some problem with the pipe.
Definitely, Phnom Penh, we got a problem!!!
People gathered in front of the place watch amazed the work of the fire fighters and policemen.
Mhh.. I think they don’t like the colour of the wardrobe…
Yes! Is definitely the color!.
Collateral damages.
People amazed.
People amazed.
It’s time for some water and some snacks.
And they lived happily ever after…

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Behind “3.50”

A behind the scene of the last 2 days of shooting of “3.50”, a Singapore-financed dramatic thriller about human trafficking in Cambodia co-direct by Chhay Bora — whose first feature film “Lost Loves” is Cambodia’s second-ever official entry to the Oscar’s for foreign language film this year.

In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, the director said: “Young people from poor families in Cambodia are often recruited to work far from home. Some of them find good jobs and are able to support their families, but some of them fall into the hands of bad people and are forced into the sex industry. By making this film, we can educate our poor farmers that they need to be very careful; and we can try to help our country to not become a place for sex tourists.”

As he did with “Lost Loves”, a personal account of his wife’s family’s travails during the Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia of the 1970s, Bora intends to screen the film in Phnom Penh’s two modern cinemas, before taking it on a road show to the country’s rural provinces.

Thank you very much to Bora and all the crew who allowed me to do these photos.

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