aaaa_0001-2 copy.jpg

'Popeye' in the 'hood, an area behind the Russian embassy where many deportees settled in Phnom Penh.

Lost Boyz - Deporting the Cambodian Diaspora

By the early 1990s over 150,000 Cambodian refugees had fled their country and settled in the United States, where many struggle in poverty to rebuild their shattered lives after 25 years of war and genocide; a war the United States has direct responsibility for starting. Many young Cambodians in America fall prey, though, to the world of guns and violence their families thought they’d left behind in Cambodia.

Starting in the mid-2000s, hundreds of Cambodian refugees from the United States have been deported back to Cambodia, a country many left as infants. The law used to deport Cambodians is retroactive, some are sent back for crimes committed over a decade before. The deportees leave behind children and wives, mothers and fathers. Another 2,000 Cambodian refugees in the US wait to be sent back.

These images are a continuation of my work with Cambodian American youth that started in 1991 in Chicago. These photographs were taken from 2006 until 2008 on trips to Cambodia where I met and photographed dozens of deportees living across the country.

aaaa_0010 copy.jpg
aaaa_0004 copy.jpg
aaaa_0002 copy.jpg
aaaa_0003 copy.jpg
aaaa_0005 copy.jpg
aaaa_0006 copy.jpg
aaaa_0007 copy.jpg
aaaa_0008 copy.jpg
aaaa_0011 copy.jpg
aaaa_0009 copy.jpg
aaaa_0012 copy.jpg
aaaa_0013 copy.jpg
aaaa_0014 copy.jpg
aaaa_0015 copy.jpg
aaaa_0016 copy.jpg
aaaa_0017 copy.jpg
aaaa_0018 copy.jpg
aaaa_0019 copy.jpg
aaaa_0020 copy.jpg
aaaa_0021 copy.jpg
aaaa_0022 copy.jpg
aaaa_0023 copy.jpg
aaaa_0024 copy.jpg
aaaa_0025 copy.jpg
aaaa_0026 copy.jpg
aaaa_0029 copy.jpg
aaaa_0030 copy.jpg
aaaa_0027 copy.jpg
aaaa_0031 copy.jpg
aaaa_0032 copy.jpg
aaaa_0033 copy.jpg
aaaa_0034 copy.jpg