During the time of the rule of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, “human life was disregarded, and repression and massacres existed on a massive scale. They turned the country into a huge detention center, which later became a graveyard for nearly two million people.”* While the entire country suffered, minority groups had an even greater ratio of deaths amongst their population. The specific targeting of minority groups, such as the Cham people (who are Muslim) makes the case for genocide more compelling for the ongoing Khmer Rouge Tribunal.
Missing is an artwork that was exhibited in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, as part of an exhibit highlighting the Cham people and the genocide during the 1970’s. The work consists of 11 hanging panels of silk, each with hand printed squares, and six Muslim head coverings. The first panel is filled with 21,000 squares. Each successive panel has fewer printed squares, until finally the last panel has 50% as many squares as the first panel. This is representative of half of the Cham population being killed during the Khmer Rouge. The title Missing refers to a literal as well as emotional feeling of the loss of family and friends.