PRLog - Feb. 28, 2011 - Nearly 1 million hectares of land in rural Cambodia have been granted to private companies as economic land concessions in favor of foreign businesses or political figures, disregarding the human rights and negatively impacting the lives of local rural communities, so dependent on their land for survival. The alienation of indigenous land has compromised the cultural and spiritual life of the Cambodian people. In her series and virtual exhibit Fringe Dwellers, photographer Eva Sutton documents the lives of those Cambodians unrooted from their land, drifting aimlessly in search of a new home.
"It is a nation of wanderers," says Sutton. "From rural villagers, evicted by government land grabs, to those migrating to the city in the fragile hopes for a better life, Cambodia is a poignant example of a global phenomenon of displacement. Rural migrants becoming the urban poor, living in makeshift squatter communities, are an increasing part of the global population, now numbering over one billion, according to recent United Nations estimates. War, genocide and the current climate of government corruption have displaced much of Cambodia’s people, a population of fringe dwellers perpetually on the move."
Sutton's images, taken over the course of the last half decade, do more than just document one of the most ardent issues of modern history. They capture Cambodian people's hope and will to thrive, despite the precarious living conditions they find themselves in.
Fringe Dwellers is available for view on the Forward Thinking Museum site.
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Forward Thinking Museum (FTM) is a digital space dedicated to contemporary art. Its goal is to bring social issues into public awareness via the outreach potential of photography. The museum tackles such topics as education, sustainable growth, alternative energy, environmental concerns and more. FTM is administrated by JGS Foundation - a philanthropic organization in support of the photographic arts.