Friday, November 18, 2016

Dream: Understanding-Helping A Life

Just woke up, not sure how coherent this blog entry will be.

Strange dreams all day today before my security night shift. I was in Cambodia and spending time with a young woman who was a brothel worker. She seemed to be in her early 20s and had white paste makeup to cover her darker skin tone. We spent the day together as friends talking and walking and sharing stories. She spoke to me about how she got into the life she lived. We ate and walked together and I made pictures of her and other things in Cambodia. We saw all kinds of strange things on our walk, damaged foreigners ( A barang, the Cambodian word for white foreigner) walking on crutches with a missing legs  and brown infected dying hands. There was also a crazy lion (lions in Cambodia?) who was hit on the road and survived (flipped over in a pool of water), he seemed to have a companion who was a dirty but friendly, a smiling fox that liked to be petted. As we walked I also found some old negs of the  brothel woman which were taken of her by another man (a customer). The pics were of her and another 3 or 4 workers looking frightened while sitting on a hotel rooms sofa.

The dream(s) were mostly about her life and me trying to help and understand what she was feeling. Strange, stuff, sad stuff but stuff that I have had some real life experiences with thru my photography. Earlier, before sleeping this morning, I was remembering back to  a young woman I met briefly who worked in a brothel, this was back in 2003 I think. She worked in Sihanoukville Cambodia and had frightened eyes just like this person in my dream. I  often think back to this girl with frightened eyes, I never did learn her name but did photograph her a bit. Maybe thoughts of her lead to the dreams I had during my daytime sleep.

I think I need to do the "Lost Innocence" photo project or possibly a documentary film of some kind on this same subject. I am haunted by the memories of those lives I knew. That world back when I made the 2003 photos in the Poipet brothels and all the stuff I saw and heard in Thailand during the bargirl photo years, continue to possess me. All these years later I still dream of the people I knew back then. Strange, sad and a bit of a frightening to still have those memories come back so often. Even while I am safe in Edmonton those thoughts and experiences persist. Am I being called to tell that story again? I hate to go back into that world but is it a destiny I cannot avoid?