Boys of Boeung Kak Lake

PhotographerDe Sheng Lim
Entry Description

Occupying 133 hectares, Boeung Kak Lake used to be the largest wetland area in metropolitan Phnom Penh, Cambodia. Controversially, in 2007 it was leased to a private company, and by 2010 90% of the lake had been drained and filled with sand dredged up from the Mekong river. Thousands of families were forcibly evicted, many of whom received inadequate compensation if any at all. Today, white featureless walls divide the barren landscape. Smoke rises from the heavy machinery. And so the lake begins its transformation. Meanwhile, the children of Boeung Kak lake turn the scarred landscape into a giant playground.