“Phnom Penh Falls Again”

This news article written in 1979 describes the state of Phnom Penh during the Khmer Rouge invasion. Having just undergone a massive upturn in establishing a functional and completely new infrastructural scheme, and rapidly welcoming nearly a million new residents in this city, the abrupt revolution just as fast. The photographs below were taken during the revolution, revealing the massive evacuation of the Cambodians and how the Khmer Rouge soldiers ravaged the streets of the city. To understand the scope of this evacuation and its agency, Fig.3 shows a map of the paths the Cambodians took move out of the central attack zone of Phnom Penh.

Fig.1 – Evacuation of Cambodians during the Khmer Rouge Invasion (Roland Neveu)
Fig.2 – The young Khmer Rouge guerrilla soldiers atop their US-made armored vehicles enter 17 April 1975 Phnom Penh (Roland Neveu)
Evacuation routes from Phnom Penh. Redrawn by author from images provided at Choeung Ek also known as ‘The Killing Fields’. (Shelby Doyle)


  1. “Phnom Penh Falls again.” New York Times (1923-Current File), Jan 09, 1979. https://search-proquest-com.eproxy.lib.hku.hk/docview/120984730?accountid=14548.
  2. Neveu, Roland. “Phnom Penh Evacuation.” Digital image. LightRocket. Accessed December 28, 2018. https://www.lightrocket.com/rolandneveu/galleries/go/796/cambodia-1970s-archives.
  3. Doyle, Shelby Elizabeth. “City of Water: Architecture, Urbanism and the Floods of Phnom Penh.” 2012. Accessed December 15, 2018.

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