Fig. 1. Dimensions: 3.5 x 3.75 inches, Circa 1968. This image was taken in Battambang, when King Norodom Sihanouk visited the province. My Father was receiving a medal for his involvement in the sports program in Battambang City. The image we have today was actually a crop of a larger image, which was framed in the house. We cut this image of my father out, removing Sihanouk, when we reached the village of Ou Sralau in Battambang Province. It was important as the family did not want to show any association with the aristocracy. It was our fear that lead to this - to hide our identity. I don’t know who decided to cut the image but it was buried along with the rest of the family images within the first year of the Khmer Rouge. I still try to rationalise the idea of why we took these images with us. We thought that we would return to the city as the Khmer Rouge told us that the Americans were coming to bomb the city as they did in Phnom Penh, but we would return. As children we did not care about photographs but my parents did, maybe my parents knew we would not be returning to the city. My Mum lost her brother to the Khmer Rouge straight away, he was a solider for the Lon Nol government. My dad’s boss’s son-in-law who was a military doctor and also our family physician was also killed instantly... so maybe this was part of their rationale when they took the photographs with them. In time we started to realise these images would identify us, so we buried them in the village. I believe we took more to the village than we have now, but as the threat increased, we destroyed images that showed any affiliations with former government or with military uniforms/outfits; A Fragile Past: Exploring One Family’s Narrative Through the Photographs They Buried

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