CHRIS KELLY / S21

These photographs were taken at the S-21 prison and the Killing Fields in Cambodia. Approximately 1.7 million people were killed during Pol-Pot’s reign between 1975-79, many of whom were sent to Toul Sleng prison for “re-education” or to await execution at one of the many mass graves outside the city.

The idea that the reality of what happened is represented by images (of both the victims and aggressors) said something about the nature of the Khmer regime itself, with its Maoist tendencies towards erasing the past, as though controlling reality and history were as simple as saying it is so.