Monday, 27 April 2015

Holiday in Cambodia:

The Dead Kennedys are an American hardcore punk rock band from San Francisco.
In May 1980 they released a single called "Holiday in Cambodia". 
The black and white image that they used  as the artwork depicts the hanged body of a second year student from Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok, being beaten with a metal folding chair by a right wing onlooker as a crowd cheers on and smiles.

The Holiday in Cambodia single was a satirical view on the attitude of a well off, self righteous, blissfully ignorant, American youth, with a false sense of empathy and compassion for third world countries under brutal regimes, much like that of Khmer regime of Cambodia during the 1970's.

The picture was taken by American born photographer Neal Hirsh Ulevich, in Bangkok, during the Thammasat University massacre of October 1976.

The Thammasat University Massacre, or Massacre of 6 October 1976 was an attack on students and protesters that occurred on the campus of Thammasat University and at Sanam Luang in Bangkok. Students from various universities were demonstrating against the return to Thailand of Field Marshal Thanom Kittikachorn, a former military ruler.

Ulevich shot the image and quickly returned to his office to develop the negatives and send them to Tokyo by telegram, as the Thai government had ordered all photographers and journalists to give up their film.

(Image: Neal Ulevich)

He went on to win the pulitzer prize for the picture in 1977, but until this day the prize winning  picture has not been printed in any Thai publications.The award was mentioned in an English language newspaper “The Bangkok post”, however the picture failed to accompany the text only report.

The official body count was reported as 43 but allegedly the number of those dead was tragically higher.
There was said to have been hundreds of victims and a quick google will pull up other pictures of the event.

Here is an exert from the wikipedia page on the event, as a bit of an insight to the happenings that day:

"In the chaos of the attack, students were shot and hanged, pulled through gates and beaten, dragged across city streets, and bludgeoned with sticks and poles. A few escaped. More than three thousand were rounded up by police, stripped to their waists, and told to lie on their stomachs and await incarceration......kicking, clubbing, shooting, lynching. Youths hurled themselves into the river to keep from being shot. Then the blazing finale as a heap of gasoline-soaked bodies was set afire.About a thousand demonstrators were taken prisoner and humiliated by being stripped to the waistmade to crawl or kicked.Female students allegedly were raped, alive and dead, by police and Red Gaurs....By evening, the democracy was overthrown and martial law was enforced. Many of the bodies were cremated en masse. The true count of those who died will likely never be known.”Even today, the Thammasat University massacre is seldom mentioned."


No comments:

Post a Comment