The KILLING FIELDS

TUOL SLENG PRISON

It seems 37 years have still not washed away the horrors of one of the most fiendish atrocities the world has ever known. In 2001,  at the dawn of a new millenium, my camera and I traveled to Cambodia to get a view of a land and a culture rarely visited. Although the country had since recovered from the horrors of the Khmer Rouge, some remnants still remained.

The image above is Tuol Sleng, previously a  high school. Under the tyrant, Pol Pot however, it was converted into a prison and an interrogation center; and, one might add, a torture chamber.

Although the dictator had no ability for painting, he did, however, enjoy viewing the works of others. As it happened, one of the prisoners was a painter.  Pol Pot, therefore, ordered the prisoner to paint the images of those suffering in their cells.  As a result we have 2 samples of his work.

STARVED PRISONER

 

     

                                                                        

           PAINTING SHOWS TWO JAILERS CARRYING STARVED VICTIM TO the KILLING FIELDS
 
 
Pol Pot photographed all his victims. In the photo below we see a poor condemned woman and her baby.

Photograph of a young man in the foreground and others crammed in the background

The KILLING FIELDS

Where victims are murdered and tossed in these mounds

The atrocities of the Pol Pot regime had no limits. In fact, the crimes I have listed are but few compared to the actual amount. There is one crime however, that,in my opinion, stands higher than most: the murder of babies.. Babies are first put into a sling, the sling is then pulled high in the air, then released in such a way that the baby is smashed against a huge tree. Afterwards the dead child is unceremoniously thrown into the mounds you see here. These innocents then lay forever with their families in what is now referred to as THE KILLING FIELDS.

What I learned from the people I spoke with and the horrors they tell, and the remnants I saw,  convinced me I will carry to my grave that unspeakable  horror called the KILLING FIELDS.

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My next blog: August 15, 2012

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     www.345photoshelter.com

 also:  www.bajareflections.com

ANIMALS in their NATURAL ENVIRONMENT

Among my favorite photography topics, are animals, particularly those who do not answer to humans.  What I admire in them the most is their independence. Because  I live in an area where these creatures are easily accessible I often have the opportunity of quickly grabbing my camera and snapping off several shots with ease. Take this coyote for example who, by the way, happens to be a frequent visitor to my backyard.


THIS DESERT MULE is ONE of MANY in the RUGGED TERRAIN

This desert mule is one of many in this rugged terrain.

Elk rummages for food at the Grand Canyon

 
CALIFORNIA GRAY WHALE
 
Marine biologists in boat search for California Gray Whale. The whale however, approaches them from the other side 

 

 

 

My next blog: July 31, 2012

Check out my website at: 345.photoshelter.com

BULLFIGHTING

At the outstart I must state I am no fan of animal mistreatment. In fact, I deplore it. It is for that reason I’ve chosen this topic as a stark example of one of the most heinous acts of animal brutality imaginable. I took these photos not because I was curious, but because I wanted others to the get a sense of the outrage. The images below speak for themselves.

IT BEGINS as MATADOR and BULL ENGAGE

a life and death struggle

MORTALLY WOUNDED BULL

         IN THE END the WOUNDED   ANIMAL SUCUMBS

According to PETA. “Approximately 250,000 bulls die in bullfights.” “It is an inaccurate term for events in which there is very little competition between a nimble, sword-wielding matador … and a confused, maimed, psychologically tormented, and physically debilitated animal. “According to one matador, some of the top performers may “ask breeders to deliberately select placid bulls …. It’s the only way to sustain your energy for the duration of the season.”

Ritualistic Slaughter “Most bullfights are divided into three parts. First, a bull is forced into the arena and taunted by a matador with a cape. The bull is then approached by picadors (men on horses), who drive lances into the bull’s back and neck muscles, impairing the bull’s ability to lift his head. They twist and gouge the lances to ensure a significant amount of blood loss. Then come the banderilleros on foot, who proceed to distract and dart around the bull while stabbing the animal with brightly colored darts called banderillas. After blood loss has weakened the bull, the banderilleros run the bull in more circles until he becomes dizzy and stops chasing. In the final act, the matador appears. After using his cape and sword to provoke a few exhausted charges from the dying animal, the matador tries to deliver the death blow,… with his sword. If he misses, succeeding only in further mutilation, an executioner is called in to stab the exhausted animal to death. If the crowd is happy with the matador, the bull’s ears and tail or a hoof may be cut off and presented as a gift. A few minutes later, another bull enters the arena and the sadistic cycle starts again.”

“Pope St. Pius V decreed that “spectacles” such as bullfights are “removed from Christian piety and charity.” He wished that “these cruel and base spectacles of the devil are not of man” they must be abolished and he forbade attendance at them under penalty of excommunication.”

“Barcelona has declared itself “an anti-bullfighting city,” and 38 Catalan municipalities have followed its lead; the last bullring in Barcelona closed in 2006 because of poor attendance. As of January 2012, Catalonia becomes the first Spanish mainland region to officially ban bullfighting, although the final bullfight occurred there in September of 2011 when the “season” ended. The Spanish state broadcasting network, RTVE, no longer broadcasts bullfights because it does not want children exposed to violence against animals.”

“Interest in bullfighting has also declined in Mexico and Portugal, and according to one report, officials in Beijing, China, decided not to build a bullring at a popular tourist destination for “fears of the country’s image.” The photos shown in this photos however, were taken in Mexicali, Mexico. Unfortunately, there are still more than 1,200 government-funded bull ranches and dozens of state-sponsored bullfighting schools in Spain.”

“Bullfights are sadistic acts of animal torture. Innocent bulls are speared, stabbed and die slowly as their blood pour onto the arena floor. And while these animals suffer, sick and morally corrupt crowds cheer the even more sick and vile matadors who perform the executions.

Bulls are not the only creatures to suffer in bullrings. Horses are sometimes attacked by the maddend bull who is experiencing utter agony and lashing out where ever he can. It is not unusual for horses used in bullfights to die as well.

This is the fate of these beautiful animals; to be used to entertain a crowd that lusts for blood and suffering.”

Make no mistake, bullfighting is no sport. There should be an end to this horror show. Unlike bullfighting, sports have rules and the competitors have chosen to participate in them, bulls however, do not..

July 1, 2012

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