Archival Collections
Rare Book & Manuscript Library

Cambodia witness exhibit materials , 1981-1987 

Hawk, David R,
Phys. Desc: 
1 linear foot (52 Photographs, 1 Map, and 2 Files in 3 Oversized Boxes; Text Panels in 1 Oversized Box)
Call Number: 
HR# 0003
Rare Book & Manuscript Library
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Biographical Note

Amnesty International (AI), a non-governmental organization (NGO), was founded in 1961 to campaign for internationally recognized human rights. In its early years, the main focus of AI's campaigns was to free prisoners of conscience. Within a short time, its mandate expanded to include campaigning for prompt and fair trails for all political prisoners, to end extrajudicial executions and disappearances, and to abolish the death penalty, torture and other cruel treatment or punishment. The organization also works to bring perpetrators of these abuses to justice in accordance with international standards. Amnesty International of the USA, Inc. (AIUSA) is the United States section of Amnesty International. AIUSA was incorporated in 1966. The section is governed by a Board of Directors. The work of the section is carried out through the national office, regional offices, networks, country specialists (co-groups), student groups and local groups. The photographs for the Cambodia Witness Exhibit were taken by David Hawk during two trips to Cambodia in March 1981 and April 1982. Hawk had worked on Cambodian relief and refugee issues while based in Bangkok, Thailand during 1980-1981. Hawk later became the Director of the Cambodian Documentation Commission in the mid-1980s and directed the Cambodia Office of the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights in the 1990s. He has also been involved in other human rights issues. The Cambodia Witness Exhibit was organized and sponsored by Amnesty International USA, of which David Hawk is a former executive director (1974-1978), and was first shown in Washington D.C. in April 1983.

Scope and Contents

The collection includes 52 photographs and a map that were part of the Cambodia Witness Exhibit (1983). It also includes the exhibit brochure, catalog list, and a file on the exhibit from its coordinator, Joan Libby. The photographs were taken by David Hawk during two trips to Cambodia in March 1981 and April 1982. The exhibit includes images of the prison at Tuol Sleng, prisoners (from existing files), survivors, mass graves, and the destruction of temples and churches. The exhibit was curated by Joan Libby for Amnesty International (USA) The bulk of the collection consists of both black & white and color photographs used in the Cambodia Witness Exhibit (1983). The first series contains two paper files of material related to the exhibit. The first file contains the exhibit brochure and the catalog list of exhibit materials. The catalog list includes a number, title and caption for all exhibit items, except for three "optional" photographs of executed prisoners and a map of Cambodia. The second file contains documentation on the exhibit kept by its coordinator, Joan Libby. Other files on the Cambodia Witness Exhibit may be found in other record groups of the archives of Amnesty International of the USA, Inc. The second series contains the exhibit material. The photographs are filed using the titles, numbers and original order described by the exhibit's catalog list. The three "optional" exhibit photographs and the map are filed last. The photographs document several subjects: Tuol Sleng (Images of the interior and exterior of the prison); prisoners (Images of entry photographs and of executed prisoners taken from existing records in Cambodia); survivors (Images include surviving prisoners, Buddhist monks and nuns, and Cham, an ethnic minority); mass graves and memorials (Images of sites at Cheung Ek, Tonle Bati, Ta Mon, and Siem Reap); and destroyed religious buildings (Images are predominantly of destroyed Buddhist temples. There is one image of the site of a destroyed Catholic cathedral). The exhibit text panels will be scanned and copies included in the collection for use and reference.