Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Wood and brick cells

Tuol Sleng: A decrepit wooden stupa used to stand in front of Block C, with its barbed-wire frontage
Individual cells made of house bricks or breeze-blocks are on the ground floor
Far fewer of the cells contain leg irons, chains and old USA ammunition boxes these days
The barbed-wire frontage of Block C to prevent suicide attempts
The individual wooden cells on the first floor of Block C
Block C at Tuol Sleng houses on two floors, individual cells constructed of brick (on the ground floor) and wood (on first floor). On the second floor are mass detention rooms, but on the day of my visit, this floor was out of bounds as a camera crew were filming there. The barbed-wire has been left at the front of the building to show how prisoners were prevented from throwing themselves off the upper floors to their death. In the individual cells, there are some rusting leg irons and ammunition boxes (put to use as toilet boxes). Years ago I also saw other items like plates and bowls and such like but these have now vanished, either taken by visitors as souvenirs or removed for safekeeping by the museum curators. The courtyard in front of Block C originally housed a wooden stupa but this has long since disappeared.

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