Fig. 9. Dimensions: 2.5 x 2.5 inches, Early 1981. This photograph is of my mother. This was taken at the Panasnikhom Chonburi Transit Centre (Thailand), this was the start of the process of settling in the USA. We had received sponsorship and had moved from Khao-I-Dang Holding Centre on the Thai/Cambodian border. In the first camp we just had just a name and number, but this photograph to me is the first new identity that we had, this is the re-emergence of images, name and number. From all those vacation images to the Khmer Rouge flicking the switch to darkness, there was nothing after this, but this image was the start of our new identity even though my Mum looked sad we also had our identity back. When I read back the history of the camps I am unsure of what this meant but they called the camp a holding centre – there was a lot of debate during this time, many of the people who stayed in the camp without sponsorship were moved back to Cambodia after the signing of the 1991 Paris Peace Accord. I wonder if they classified us as refugee at this stage. There would have been a lot of pressure on the UN and Thailand, but then if the Khmer Rouge were still recognised by the west there could be a lot of conflict of the ideologies and the status of refugee; A Fragile Past: Exploring One Family’s Narrative Through the Photographs They Buried

Image