Halls of Fear and Despair
S-21 was a high school converted by the Khmer Rouge into a prison and interrogation center. It is estimated 17,000 people were imprisoned here over four years, most tortured and killed. Classrooms were converted into small, dark, windowless cells, where the prisoners were shackled to the walls or floor, and passageways were cut into the calls to connect adjoining classrooms, as can be seen in this image. Even more than 30 years later, the place feels haunted, with a heavy dose of despair hanging in the air. The texture of the brick cells, the concrete walls, and the ragged passageway showing room after room, all contribute to a sense of forboding. A sense of fear. A sense of despair.