Collecting firewood with his two brothers, Sopphart stepped on a land mine. When his brothers rushed toward their younger sibling, one of them ran into the tripwire of another mine, triggering a second explosion. Not only did Sopphart lose part of one foot and sight in one eye; he also lost his two brothers.
Sopphart’s parents, who live in a village near the Thai border, can’t afford to give him an education. He wants to become a teacher.
Alors qu’il ramassait du bois de chauffage avec ses deux frères, Sopphart a mis le pied sur une mine terrestre. Quand ses frères se sont empressés d’aller à son secours, un de ceux-ci a trébuché sur le fil-piège d’une autre mine, déclenchant une deuxième explosion. Sopphart a non seulement perdu une partie d’un de ses pieds et la vue d’un œil, mais ses deux frères aussi.
Les parents de Sopphart habitent dans un village près de la frontière de la Thaïlande; ils n’ont pas les moyens de payer pour ses études. Il veut devenir enseignant.
Living with Land Mines is an exhibition of 16 life-size portraits of Cambodian children, each of whom has survived a land mine accident. Photographed by Toronto-based photographer V. Tony Hauser, the exhibition was produced in collaboration with the Hon. Lloyd Axworthy, president of the University of Winnipeg.
The objective of the exhibit is to educate viewers and confront them with the devastating consequences that land mines have on the world. One-third of the world’s nations are currently affected by land mines. This exhibit gives a voice to the people who experience life amidst armed conflict and demonstrates how citizens continue to suffer in the wake of war.
Two complete sets of this exhibit have been on tour since 2007. To date, the exhibit has been on display in 17 Canadian Universities, in eight provinces. The exhibition has also had several international viewings: National Assembly in the Parliament of Republic of Slovenia, Woodside Park International School in London England, Justice Building in Valencia Spain, and The Canadian International School in Hong Kong. In September 2009, Living with Land Mines began a tour through schools in the United States beginning with Bridgewater State College in Boston and University of Chicago.
V. Tony Hauser travelled to Siem Reap, Cambodia, in May 2006 to document the 16 children who were living at the Cambodia Land Mine Museum Relief Facility. The CLMMRF serves as a rescue center for land mine amputee children. It provides a dormitory and a school, and has a medical clinic, rehabilitation center and a training facility for land mine accident prevention and safety.
The children were photographed using a 4 x 5 view camera, Polaroid film and a seamless canvas backdrop. “I purposely chose to isolate them from their natural surroundings,” says Hauser. “I hoped this would elevate them and, at the same time, reveal my admiration for their strength. They live with the daily fear of land mines.”
Hauser is a passionate land mines activist who has spoken against land mines in universities across Canada, as well as in Slovenia, Spain, Hong Kong and England. Hauser has toured this exhibition for the last three years.
This project would not be possible without our generous supporters
BGM Imaging Inc.
Donald Graham, President
Exhibition Design Consultant: Gerry McCready, BGM
Mazzuca DPI Inc.
Text Editor – Susan Nerberg
Pikto Inc. Toronto
Saul Lederman & André Souroujon
Special Thanks to:
Jackie & David Russell
and many other compassionate Canadians
We encourage you to make a donation to support the education and rehabilitation of
landmine-injured children in Cambodia.
To make a contribution please visit: The Cambodia Land Mine Museum Relief Facility