© John Vink / Magnum Photos

 

As of today, with the inauguration of the bridge over the Mekong at Neak Loeung, the 4 vessels from the ferry service which carried thousands of vehicles every day, will cease to exist. The whole economic structure built around the ferry terminals, with employees, restaurants, gatekeepers, peddlers, beggars, middlemen will have to restructure into something else…

You can find the whole story in the pages of today’s Cambodia Daily’. A short 2-minute video and the photographs are also featured in a long-read format on the Cambodia Daily website.

CAMBODIA, Neak Loeung. 1/04/2015: Two young men, with the new bridge seen in the distance, sit on the ferry when crossing the Mekong. When the new bridge over the Mekong will be inaugurated on April 6th, the whole economic structure built around the ferries at Neal Loeung will shift to something different.

CAMBODIA, Neak Loeung. 1/04/2015: Two young men, with the new bridge seen in the distance, sit on the ferry when crossing the Mekong. When the new bridge over the Mekong will be inaugurated on April 6th, the whole economic structure built around the ferries at Neal Loeung will shift to something different.

CAMBODIA, Neak Loeung. 1/04/2015: Gatekeeper regulating access to the ferries for the vehicles. When the new bridge over the Mekong will be inaugurated on April 6th, the whole economic structure built around the ferries at Neal Loeung will shift to something different.

CAMBODIA, Neak Loeung. 1/04/2015: Gatekeeper regulating access to the ferries for the vehicles. When the new bridge over the Mekong will be inaugurated on April 6th, the whole economic structure built around the ferries at Neal Loeung will shift to something different.

CAMBODIA, Neak Loeung. 1/04/2015: Peddlers selling snacks to travellers who are waiting to board the ferry. When the new bridge over the Mekong will be inaugurated on April 6th, the whole economic structure built around the ferries at Neal Loeung will shift to something different.

CAMBODIA, Neak Loeung. 1/04/2015: Peddlers selling snacks to travellers who are waiting to board the ferry. When the new bridge over the Mekong will be inaugurated on April 6th, the whole economic structure built around the ferries at Neal Loeung will shift to something different.

CAMBODIA, Neak Loeung. 1/04/2015: Sculpture commemorating the liberation by Vietnamese troups of the Khmer Rouge. The ferry station is located on Road Nr 1, directly going from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh. When the new bridge over the Mekong will be inaugurated on April 6th, the whole economic structure built around the ferries at Neal Loeung will shift to something different.

CAMBODIA, Neak Loeung. 1/04/2015: Sculpture commemorating the liberation by Vietnamese troups of the Khmer Rouge. The ferry station is located on Road Nr 1, directly going from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh. When the new bridge over the Mekong will be inaugurated on April 6th, the whole economic structure built around the ferries at Neal Loeung will shift to something different.

CAMBODIA, Neak Loeung. 1/04/2015: Kids take a dip in the Mekong near the docks on the Prey Veng side of the Neak Loeung ferry service. When the new bridge over the Mekong will be inaugurated on April 6th, the whole economic structure built around the ferries at Neal Loeung will shift to something different.

CAMBODIA, Neak Loeung. 1/04/2015: Kids take a dip in the Mekong near the docks on the Prey Veng side of the Neak Loeung ferry service. When the new bridge over the Mekong will be inaugurated on April 6th, the whole economic structure built around the ferries at Neal Loeung will shift to something different.

CAMBODIA, Neak Loeung. 1/04/2015: Woman trying to reach a stick to get hold of the lotus seeds she just bought from a peddler on the ferry. When the new bridge over the Mekong will be inaugurated on April 6th, the whole economic structure built around the ferries at Neal Loeung will shift to something different.

CAMBODIA, Neak Loeung. 1/04/2015: Woman trying to reach a stick to get hold of the lotus seeds she just bought from a peddler on the ferry. When the new bridge over the Mekong will be inaugurated on April 6th, the whole economic structure built around the ferries at Neal Loeung will shift to something different.

CAMBODIA, Neak Loeung. 1/04/2015: Peddlers selling snacks to travellers who are waiting to board the ferry. When the new bridge over the Mekong will be inaugurated on April 6th, the whole economic structure built around the ferries at Neal Loeung will shift to something different.

CAMBODIA, Neak Loeung. 1/04/2015: Peddlers selling snacks to travellers who are waiting to board the ferry. When the new bridge over the Mekong will be inaugurated on April 6th, the whole economic structure built around the ferries at Neal Loeung will shift to something different.

CAMBODIA, Neak Loeung. 1/04/2015: Travellers wait for one of the 4 boats from the Neak Loeung ferry service. When the new bridge over the Mekong will be inaugurated on April 6th, the whole economic structure built around the ferries at Neal Loeung will shift to something different.

CAMBODIA, Neak Loeung. 1/04/2015: Travellers wait for one of the 4 boats from the Neak Loeung ferry service. When the new bridge over the Mekong will be inaugurated on April 6th, the whole economic structure built around the ferries at Neal Loeung will shift to something different.

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Michel. Michel Vanden Eeckhoudt… He was my friend. My best friend. I can only hope I was considered by him as his best friend. I will not know. I wouldn’t have known. Because he had this incredible sense of modesty we’d only rarely talk about private issues. They were just mentioned, sort of inadvertently… We’d mostly talk about photography, ever since we followed a photography course at ‘La Cambre’, the fine arts school where we met for the first time at the end of 1968. Photography meant so much to us, included so much about life itself, that there was no real need to talk about our private lives. It was there already, inside photography.

We haven’t stopped talking about photography ever since these careless days at ‘La Cambre’. It went on at the race tracks where we’d take photographs for ‘Virage Auto’, at the darkroom a friend, Jacques Daune, had set up and where we spent hours processing and printing when we were not just fooling around, at Agence ‘VU’ which we both joined at its beginnings in 1986, and later, when our roads separated more often because the world is big and there are a lot of places to visit, a lot of stories to cover. It went on and on. Year after year. Unshakeable. Conversations to hold on to, through thick and thin.

They did not even stop the days after I took this picture of him, on December 12th. 2013, the last time I saw him, ill already. I didn’t have the guts to go and see him in February this year, didn’t want to risk seeing him diminished. I didn’t want to alter the memory I have of a person dismissing so much of what is useless, so uncompromising in his trade, so focused on the person he interacts with, so just and fair, so clear-sighted about the world around him, with opinions sharp as a knife which cuts but doesn’t make you bleed. I didn’t want to see all this constrained by illness.

Now that he is gone I continue to have these conversations with him. That’s what his photographs are there for. Thank you so much Michel.

The grenade attack of March 30th 1997 on Sam Rainsy’s Khmer Nation Party rally gathering a couple of hundred people in front of the National Assembly to denounce corruption and impunity was commemorated by the opposition CNRP at the stupa dedicated to the 16 people who died. On that day four grenades were thrown in the small crowd, injuring Sam Rainsy and over 100 demonstrators, but also children, street vendors.

Brigade 70, a special bodyguard unit trusted by Prime Minister Hun Sen, was for the first time deployed nearby, raising persistent suspicions with the opposition, and indeed by the FBI (Ron Abney, a US citizen, was seriously injured, prompting their investigation), that it wasn’t just there to monitor, as some witnesses testified the unit opened ranks to let the perpetrators escape.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 30/03/2015: Bodyguards keep an eye on monks and opposition CNRP members who commemorate the March 30th 1997 grenade attack on a Khmer Nation Party rally which killed at least 16.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 30/03/2015: Bodyguards keep an eye on monks and opposition CNRP members who commemorate the March 30th 1997 grenade attack on a Khmer Nation Party rally which killed at least 16.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 30/03/2015: Kem Sokha, acting president of the CNRP, atttends an opposition CNRP members commemoration of the March 30th 1997 grenade attack on a Khmer Nation Party rally which killed at least 16.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 30/03/2015: Kem Sokha, acting president of the CNRP, atttends an opposition CNRP members commemoration of the March 30th 1997 grenade attack on a Khmer Nation Party rally which killed at least 16.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 30/03/2015: Kem Sokha, acting president of the CNRP, and Song Korm, Sam Rainsy Party senator, atttend an opposition CNRP members commemoration of the March 30th 1997 grenade attack on a Khmer Nation Party rally which killed at least 16.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 30/03/2015: Kem Sokha, acting president of the CNRP, and Song Korm, Sam Rainsy Party senator, atttend an opposition CNRP members commemoration of the March 30th 1997 grenade attack on a Khmer Nation Party rally which killed at least 16.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 30/03/2015: Kem Sokha, acting president of the CNRP, atttends an opposition CNRP members commemoration of the March 30th 1997 grenade attack on a Khmer Nation Party rally which killed at least 16.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 30/03/2015: Kem Sokha, acting president of the CNRP, atttends an opposition CNRP members commemoration of the March 30th 1997 grenade attack on a Khmer Nation Party rally which killed at least 16.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 30/03/2015: Journalists record speeches at an opposition CNRP commemoration of the March 30th 1997 grenade attack on a Khmer Nation Party rally which killed at least 16.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 30/03/2015: Journalists record speeches at an opposition CNRP commemoration of the March 30th 1997 grenade attack on a Khmer Nation Party rally which killed at least 16.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 30/03/2015: Badges from Loun Sovath, the 'multimedia monk' and land rights activist, at an opposition CNRP commemoration of the March 30th 1997 grenade attack on a Khmer Nation Party rally which killed at least 16.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 30/03/2015: Badges from Loun Sovath, the 'multimedia monk' and land rights activist, at an opposition CNRP commemoration of the March 30th 1997 grenade attack on a Khmer Nation Party rally which killed at least 16.

Yesterday only 5 monks and 2 land rights activists showed up at the Phnom Penh Municipal Court for the trial of 3 defrocked monks, including Seung Hay, accused of carrying ‘lethal weapons’ (flagpoles made of plastic). Today there were barely 50 people for the trial of 11 people, including CNRP’s Meach Sovannara and lad rights activist Pich Samnang, involved in the violent incidents which took place in November 2014 near ‘Freedom Park’.

For sure the opposition’s mojo is not in the streets anymore.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 27/03/2015: About 50 people, some holding photographs of the defendants, showed up at the Municipal Court to support 11 people, including CNRP member Meach Sovannara and land rights activist Pich Samnang, arrested in relation with the incidents at Freedom Park of Nov. 2014.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 27/03/2015: About 50 people, some holding photographs of the defendants, showed up at the Municipal Court to support 11 people, including CNRP member Meach Sovannara and land rights activist Pich Samnang, arrested in relation with the incidents at Freedom Park of Nov. 2014.

CAMBODIA. Phnom Penh. 26/03/2015: Just a few monks showed up for the trial of defrocked monk Seung Hay and 2 other defrocked monks at the Municipal Court.

CAMBODIA. Phnom Penh. 26/03/2015: Just a few monks showed up for the trial of defrocked monk Seung Hay and 2 other defrocked monks at the Municipal Court.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 27/03/2015: About 50 people, some holding photographs of the defendants, showed up at the Municipal Court to support 11 people, including CNRP member Meach Sovannara and land rights activist Pich Samnang, arrested in relation with the incidents at Freedom Park of Nov. 2014.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 27/03/2015: About 50 people, some holding photographs of the defendants, showed up at the Municipal Court to support 11 people, including CNRP member Meach Sovannara and land rights activist Pich Samnang, arrested in relation with the incidents at Freedom Park of Nov. 2014.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 27/03/2015: About 50 people, some holding photographs of the defendants, showed up at the Municipal Court to support 11 people, including CNRP member Meach Sovannara and land rights activist Pich Samnang, arrested in relation with the incidents at Freedom Park of Nov. 2014.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 27/03/2015: About 50 people, some holding photographs of the defendants, showed up at the Municipal Court to support 11 people, including CNRP member Meach Sovannara and land rights activist Pich Samnang, arrested in relation with the incidents at Freedom Park of Nov. 2014.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 27/03/2015: Skinny cat minds his business while about 50 people, some holding photographs of the defendants, showed up at the Municipal Court to support 11 people, including CNRP member Meach Sovannara and land rights activist Pich Samnang, arrested in relation with the incidents at Freedom Park of Nov. 2014.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 27/03/2015: Skinny cat minds his business while about 50 people, some holding photographs of the defendants, showed up at the Municipal Court to support 11 people, including CNRP member Meach Sovannara and land rights activist Pich Samnang, arrested in relation with the incidents at Freedom Park of Nov. 2014.

Today is ‘World water Day’. There isn’t that much of water on this planet. It is precious.

Time to revisit my story ‘Waters of Sahel’, probably my first ‘real’ story, shot between 1985 and 1987, but still relevant.

Follows is a short sample of 16. You can see the whole story HERE.

BURKINA FASO. Tin Akoff. 6/03/1985: Filling guerbas with water at a pond close to the malian border.

BURKINA FASO. Tin Akoff. 6/03/1985: Filling guerbas with water at a pond close to the malian border.

NIGER. Toula. 07/12/1985: Rice harvest in an irrigated perimeter along the Niger river.

NIGER. Toula. 07/12/1985: Rice harvest in an irrigated perimeter along the Niger river.

NIGER. Tillabery. 8/12/1985: Water level of the Niger stream.

NIGER. Tillabery. 8/12/1985: Water level of the Niger stream.

NIGER. Koungo Kore. 14/12/1985: Millet storage rooms.

NIGER. Koungo Kore. 14/12/1985: Millet storage rooms.

MALI. Tondiby. 19/12/1985: Members of a cooperative working on a plot of irrigated land.

MALI. Tondiby. 19/12/1985: Members of a cooperative working on a plot of irrigated land.

MALI. Taboye. 21/12/1985: Games.

MALI. Taboye. 21/12/1985: Games.

MALi. Bandiagara (Dogon country). 30/12/1985: Peasant watering his vegetable garden with water from an open well.

MALi. Bandiagara (Dogon country). 30/12/1985: Peasant watering his vegetable garden with water from an open well.

MAURETANIA. Djigieni. 19/09/1986: Women at water well.

MAURETANIA. Djigieni. 19/09/1986: Women at water well.

NIGER. Tamaske. 21/01/1987: Women of a village participating in a program to stabilise the terrain, reduce soil erosion and improve water infiltration that will better the groundwater levels.

NIGER. Tamaske. 21/01/1987: Women of a village participating in a program to stabilise the terrain, reduce soil erosion and improve water infiltration that will better the groundwater levels.

NIGER. Goube. 27/01/1987: Way of transporting the water jars.

NIGER. Goube. 27/01/1987: Way of transporting the water jars.

MALI. Tondiby. 3/02/1987: Replanting rice in the irrigated perimeters of a cooperative managing a potential of 30ha.

MALI. Tondiby. 3/02/1987: Replanting rice in the irrigated perimeters of a cooperative managing a potential of 30ha.

MALI. Tondiby. 3/02/1987: Cutting the straw of a previous rice harvest on an irrigated plot of land run by a cooperative.

MALI. Tondiby. 3/02/1987: Cutting the straw of a previous rice harvest on an irrigated plot of land run by a cooperative.

MALI. Aguelhok. 8/02/1987: Women being assigned as communal pump guards.

MALI. Aguelhok. 8/02/1987: Women being assigned as communal pump guards.

MALI. Gao. 13/02/1987: Man drinking water from well.

MALI. Gao. 13/02/1987: Man drinking water from well.

MALI. Menaka. 24/02/1987: Crowd dancing during official visit of president Moussa Traore to Touareg area.

MALI. Menaka. 24/02/1987: Crowd dancing during official visit of president Moussa Traore to Touareg area.

MALI. Tin Fadimata. 2/03/1987: Cleaning of a well in unstable terrain. The walls will be reinforced by corrugated iron sheets.

MALI. Tin Fadimata. 2/03/1987: Cleaning of a well in unstable terrain. The walls will be reinforced by corrugated iron sheets.

Michelle Obama is in Siem Reap. I stayed in Phnom Penh but didn’t watch ‘Cinderella’.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 21/03/2015: Spot where employees from Aeon mall have to stop and greet before entering the public area.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 21/03/2015: Spot where employees from Aeon mall have to stop and greet before entering the public area.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 21/03/2015: A family takes a rest at Aeon mall.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 21/03/2015: A family takes a rest at Aeon mall.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 21/03/2015: An engineer consults instructions for a machine at a gaming arcade at Aeon mall.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 21/03/2015: An engineer consults instructions for a machine at a gaming arcade at Aeon mall.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 21/03/2015: Aeon mall.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 21/03/2015: Aeon mall.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 21/03/2015: Father and son at the ice rink at Aeon mall.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 21/03/2015: Father and son at the ice rink at Aeon mall.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 21/03/2015: Cinderellas being photographed at Aeon mall.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 21/03/2015: Cinderellas being photographed at Aeon mall.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 21/03/2015: A boy received tickets from his father to play games at the arcade at Aeon mall.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 21/03/2015: A boy received tickets from his father to play games at the arcade at Aeon mall.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 21/03/2015: Cinderella's shoe at the cinema complex of the Aeon mall.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 21/03/2015: Cinderella's shoe at the cinema complex of the Aeon mall.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 21/03/2015: Taking a rest at Aeon mall.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 21/03/2015: Taking a rest at Aeon mall.

Desperate as they are to make their voice heard and have those women from their community, jailed for 1 year after a land issue demonstration, liberated as soon as possible, the members from the Boeung Kak and the Borei Keila communities held a protest in front of the U.S. Embassy to seek support from First Lady Michelle Obama who is scheduled to visit Cambodia on March 21st and 22nd.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 17/03/2015: On the occasion of First Lady Michelle Obama visiting Cambodia on March 21st and 22nd, representatives from various communities in Phnom Penh, together with their children, gather in front of the U.S. Embassy to request the liberation of their members who were arrested and sentenced to 1 year in jail during a land issue protest.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 17/03/2015: On the occasion of First Lady Michelle Obama visiting Cambodia on March 21st and 22nd, representatives from various communities in Phnom Penh, together with their children, gather in front of the U.S. Embassy to request the liberation of their members who were arrested and sentenced to 1 year in jail during a land issue protest.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 17/03/2015: On the occasion of First Lady Michelle Obama visiting Cambodia on March 21st and 22nd, representatives from various communities in Phnom Penh, together with their children, gather in front of the U.S. Embassy to request the liberation of their members who were arrested and sentenced to 1 year in jail during a land issue protest.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 17/03/2015: On the occasion of First Lady Michelle Obama visiting Cambodia on March 21st and 22nd, representatives from various communities in Phnom Penh, together with their children, gather in front of the U.S. Embassy to request the liberation of their members who were arrested and sentenced to 1 year in jail during a land issue protest.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 17/03/2015: On the occasion of First Lady Michelle Obama visiting Cambodia on March 21st and 22nd, representatives from various communities in Phnom Penh, together with their children, gather in front of the U.S. Embassy to request the liberation of their members who were arrested and sentenced to 1 year in jail during a land issue protest.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 17/03/2015: On the occasion of First Lady Michelle Obama visiting Cambodia on March 21st and 22nd, representatives from various communities in Phnom Penh, together with their children, gather in front of the U.S. Embassy to request the liberation of their members who were arrested and sentenced to 1 year in jail during a land issue protest.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 17/03/2015: On the occasion of First Lady Michelle Obama visiting Cambodia on March 21st and 22nd, representatives from various communities in Phnom Penh, together with their children, gather in front of the U.S. Embassy to request the liberation of their members who were arrested and sentenced to 1 year in jail during a land issue protest.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 17/03/2015: On the occasion of First Lady Michelle Obama visiting Cambodia on March 21st and 22nd, representatives from various communities in Phnom Penh, together with their children, gather in front of the U.S. Embassy to request the liberation of their members who were arrested and sentenced to 1 year in jail during a land issue protest.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 17/03/2015: On the occasion of First Lady Michelle Obama visiting Cambodia on March 21st and 22nd, representatives from various communities in Phnom Penh, together with their children, gather in front of the U.S. Embassy to request the liberation of their members who were arrested and sentenced to 1 year in jail during a land issue protest.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 17/03/2015: On the occasion of First Lady Michelle Obama visiting Cambodia on March 21st and 22nd, representatives from various communities in Phnom Penh, together with their children, gather in front of the U.S. Embassy to request the liberation of their members who were arrested and sentenced to 1 year in jail during a land issue protest.

I have been photographing the development of Koh Pich Island, where families providing vegetables for the city of Phnom Penh were evicted from, since 2009. Those, and photographs of other development sites in Phnom Penh where people were evicted from can be found HERE
The ‘Development Landscapes’ is also featured in ‘Quest for Land’, an application for the iPad, an in-depth report on land issues in Cambodia since 2000. It can be found on iTunes HERE.

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 12/03/2015: Development landscapes on Koh Pich (Diamond Island).

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 12/03/2015: Development landscapes on Koh Pich (Diamond Island).

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 12/03/2015: Development landscapes on Koh Pich (Diamond Island).

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 12/03/2015: Development landscapes on Koh Pich (Diamond Island).

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 12/03/2015: Development landscapes on Koh Pich (Diamond Island).

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 12/03/2015: Development landscapes on Koh Pich (Diamond Island).

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 12/03/2015: Development landscapes on Koh Pich (Diamond Island).

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 12/03/2015: Development landscapes on Koh Pich (Diamond Island).

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 12/03/2015: Development landscapes on Koh Pich (Diamond Island).

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 12/03/2015: Development landscapes on Koh Pich (Diamond Island).

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 12/03/2015: Development landscapes on Koh Pich (Diamond Island).

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 12/03/2015: Development landscapes on Koh Pich (Diamond Island).

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 12/03/2015: Development landscapes on Koh Pich (Diamond Island).

CAMBODIA, Phnom Penh. 12/03/2015: Development landscapes on Koh Pich (Diamond Island).