Sunday, January 06, 2008

The courtyard at Tuol Sleng

An introductory sign at the entrance to Tuol Sleng, in three languages
Block A seen from the top floor of Block B. The two upper floors are usually closed to visitors
The graves of the last 14 victims of the S-21 interrogators
The tall gallows and large water jars in the courtyard
The southern courtyard at Tuol Sleng is hemmed in by Block A and B and the one-storey central administration building. It also contains the graves of the fourteen prisoners found with their throats cut and chained to their beds in the detention cells in Block A. Another feature is the tall wooden beam or gallows from which prisoners were strung upside down and their heads ducked into the large jars of water, as vivdly depicted in one of Vann Nath's paintings to be seen in Block D. Vann Nath was one of a handful of survivors of Tuol Sleng and it was his artistry as a painter that saved his life. He later returned to the prison to portray the grisly workings of Tuol Sleng on canvas.

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