Artist narrative

Spirit of Soccer
40% of landmine victims are young boys.

This image comes from a visit to a Spirit of Soccer tournament near Battambang in June 2009. Spirit of Soccer is an NGO set up by Scotty Lee, a British football coach. The NGO uses football as a means to educate young people to the danger of landmines.

‘Don’t play with landmines, play football’.
(Please visit www.spiritofsoccer.net)

Open Window
These children live in a village which had recently been cleared of landmines by the Cambodian mine action centre (CMAC). CMAC was established in 1992 by Cambodia and UNTAC (the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia). The CMAC's humanitarian mandate is to clear land for resettlement of Internally Displaced People (IDP), agriculture, community development, and reconstruction of the national infrastructure.

On the Edge
In November 2008 I went on a HALO Trust visit to Banteay Meanchey province, this is one of the provinces bordering Thailand where the majority of landmines were laid in the 1980’s. It is 1046 km in length and has become infamously known as the K5 belt. This woman and her family had been ‘relocated’ to live on the edge of a minefield. There was no work for the villagers; they survived by foraging and cutting down trees. When land has been made safe it is often deforested.
(Please visit www.halotrust.org)

The Pig Farmer
This man lost his leg in the 1980’s whilst tending his land. His family was given support through an NGO who trained the farmer how to raise pigs, the NGO also taught him basic carpentry skills. In recent years there has been an increase in victim assistance programmes and the rights of persons with disabilities has been recognized. In 2009 Cambodia ratified the law on the promotion and protection of disabled person’s rights.

HSTAMID
The handheld standoff mine detection system is a dual sensor mine detector. It is a combination of an advanced metal detector and ground-penetrating radar, allowing the user to discriminate between metal debris (clutter) and metal that has associated mass (probable mines). The HALO Trust was the first non military organization to start using the Hstamids in 2006. This image comes from a visit to Malai district on the border of Thailand in 2008; it was the first time I saw an Hstamid being used by a HALO Trust deminer.

Motodop taxi driver
This man lost both his legs in a landmine blast during the 1980’s. He lives in the same village as the children depicted in Open Window’. Since 1979 over 63,500 landmine and ERW (explosive remnants of war) casualties have been recorded in Cambodia, and with over 25,000 amputees Cambodia has the highest ratio per capita in the world.

This man had very cleverly adapted his motorbike so he could work as a motodop taxi driver; he is a well respected figure in the local community.

Artist bio

Sasha Constable was born in the UK and graduated from Wimbledon School of Art, London in 1992 with a degree in Sculpture. At this time she was also working with the lino and woodcut method of block print making. She went on to complete at Postgraduate diploma in teaching Art and Design in 1997 in Oxford.

Sasha arrived in Cambodia in 2000, initially invited as an artist in resident by the World Monuments Fund who was working at Preah Khan Temple in the Angkor Park. She then moved back into education, teaching young Cambodian artists and children with disabilities in print making, painting and sculpture.

Since 2003 she has been involved in Peace Art projects, using art as a tool for awareness, education and healing whether it might be about small arms proliferation or the issues surrounding landmines. Sasha still lives and works in Cambodia and is currently the Art Curator at Hotel de la Paix in Siem Reap.

She has exhibited in over forty group exhibitions in the UK, U.S.A, Cambodia and Thailand and had eight solo shows. Her work is in private collections worldwide and she has completed numerous commissions in sculpture, public monuments, printmaking and mural painting.

This new series of linocuts was inspired by people she has met on field trips whilst researching landmine issues in Cambodia.

Exhibition
"Linocuts"
Artist
Sasha Constable
Date
28 October - 02 November 2010
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