Winners of the Documentation Center of Cambodia (DC-Cam) and Khmer Writers' Association
(KWA) first annual essay contest were:
1st Heng Sophanna, Phnom Penh, My love's shadow;
2nd Chhou Sophea, Kampong Cham, Why was I imprisoned;
3rd Um Suphany, Phnom Penh, When we reunite;
4th Mey Monyrath, Koh Kong, Shadow of the past.
The four received cash awards. The winning essays will be published in the April
issue of DC-Cam's monthly magazine, Searching for the truth. All 43 entries will
be published in a forthcoming DC- Cam book on the experiences of victims of the Khmer
The contest was open to survivors of Democratic Kampuchea who are living in Cambodia
You Bo, President of KWA, said it was the first time that DC-Cam had cooperated with
KWA in conducting an essay competition for Democratic Kampuchea to remind people
of what happened under the killing regime. Bo said he wanted survivors to submit
their narrative essays to record history for the next generation.
Huy Vannak, researcher at DC-Cam, said the next essay contest has opened and will
be judged in April 2005.
Heng Sophanna, 52, the first winner said: "I didn't think about the competition,
just made notes to remind me what happened to my life in the past." She lost
her husband and two children.
Sophanna, who was born in Kampong Chhnang province, spent 20 years writing her 110-page
Um Suphany, 58, the third winner, said it was the sixth time that she has won an
essay writing competition. Her 189-page essay is the diary she kept describing the
factual events that happened every day under the Khmer Rouge regime, between April
14, 1975 and April 13, 1979. Suphany works as deputy chief of the conservation department
at the Royal Palace Ministry.