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Cambodia: AFESIP and Queen Sofia of Spain

February 23rd, 2008

One year ago I emailed Somaly Mam from Thailand; I had little expectation that she would have time for me, but I asked if we might meet. She said to call when I arrived in Phnom Penh. So I did and that was the start of several days with AFESIP and an introduction to the Cambodian response to human trafficking. It also happened that Queen Sofia of Spain, an avid supporter, was to visit Somaly; I was invited to join.

Tragedy befell the Queen and she returned to Spain before she could make a visit to the aftercare centers she helps support.

One year later, and after I had finished my photography at AFESIP for Stop Exploitation Now, I stopped by the office to drop off a laptop computer. Somaly happened to be back in the country and Queen Sofia was set to arrive in two days. And so I was invited again.

It’s not an unfamiliar style of photography, but I had no idea while here in Cambodia that I would be faced with the elbowing and shoving of a press corps. But I had to buck up and push and shove like the best to make some images.

Not really sure what these will ever be used for, but it’s a nice full circle with AFESIP.

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