« i believe i could spend a lifetime getting Boat Quay and the people and the river into my camera. Life was always hidden behind curtains and doors, at home. But the whole of life’s on the street here. » C.J Koch. Highway to a war
Early morning, Kampot Market. Cambodia 2014.
« Minutes after I entered the market, I was alone. I started walking through the small alleys, looking at my feet, trying not to stumble over the gutters running along the ground, amongst the dirt, dead bugs and toxic.
As I got deeper into the market, the light changed. A mix of daylight and tungsten, making this place feel unreal, like a new world lighting new faces, lighting Kampot’s life. I suddenly felt very excited.
I felt like I could stay here the entire day, wandering through the tiny alleys, searching for my angle, looking at the life surrounding me. With my camera around my neck, I walked quietly, making myself as small as possible so as to merge into the background. I walked passively, looking around, but people were really receptive, they wanted me to be a part of it as well.
They smiled at me, and I answered with a smile, trying to communicate with the few Khmer words I had picked up. Everything seemed so easy to capture there, as everything was so beautiful. Life was everywhere, shiny and graceful, through the sparkling eyes of this young girl on my view finder. She smiled at me, so peacefully, and suddenly everything seemed perfect.
I’m so inspired, I wanted to capture every face, every smile. Life finally made sense.
This market reminded me of why I became a photographer, to capture life. People don’t only work here, they live, hang around, sleep, negotiate, laugh and smile at the western girl with the camera. It felt like I was finally where I was supposed to be, and I wanted to be a part of it.