Ratanakiri is one of the most remote province of Cambodia. Located at the extreme northeast and at a 9-hour drive from Phnom Penh, the province is well known for the beauty of its environment.
Ratanakiri is also mainly inhabited by a dozen of Indigenous Peoples who have their own language and culture. Settled in distant villages, these groups are particularly poor and vulnerable. They lack infrastructure, livelihood opportunities, health services, education and they depend on agriculture (mainly rice and small animal husbandry) and natural resources to live. They are therefore highly vulnerable to current trends of deforestation originating from the quick economic development of the Province: urbanization, land concessions, intensive farming and logging. The Indigenous Peoples often end up with less arable land and usually convert a portion of their fields into some cash crops (cashew, pepper, soybean,...) subject to markets fluctuations which can result to food shortage if the selling prices are not good enough.
These photos aim to show the beauty and fragility of these Peoples who are facing tough living conditions. It documents their everyday lives and environment that is under changing times.
NB: within the framework of the EU-funded food security project named Annâdya, I stayed 3 years in Ratanakiri bringing my support to help 64 villages of Indigenous Peoples. By spending time with them, they were ultimately not paying much attention to my presence and were continuing to carry on their occupations. It gave me the opportunity to photograph them naturally/spontaneously.