Pete Pin was born in Khao-I-dang, a refugee camp on the border of Cambodia and Thailand. Fleeing the infamous “killing fields” of Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge regime, his family eventually resettled in Stockton, Calif., in the mid-1980s. What started with a single portrait of his grandmother has evolved into a deeply personal project that aims to explore the Cambodian diaspora.
His grandmother survived Pol Pot and the killing fields, and after having her portrait taken in 2010, she unexpectedly felt compelled to share her story. “I felt that my camera created this safe place that enabled the conversation to happen,” says Pin. “The stories that my grandmother told me explained a lot about my family.”
Pin is hoping to reach older Cambodians, but also younger generations who may not be familiar with their family’s history and experiences under Khmer Rouge. His goal is to use photography to create an open dialogue within the Cambodian community.
Photo Credit: Courtesy of Pete Pin