"More Than a Number", an exhibition of Khmer refugee transit photos and heroic survival stories

Organization Name:
Light of Cambodian Children
City & State:
Describe your creative piece – what is it and what has it been used for, and why is it innovative?
The More Than a Number exhibit launched on April 17, 2010 (the 35th year anniversary of the Khmer Rouge regime takeover). This first-ever collection of transit photos is our effort to bring attention to heroic Khmer refugees, who survived one of the worst genocides of our era. The exhibit is currently at the American Textile History Museum in Lowell, MA. The goal is to have it travel throughout the world with efforts of collecting more t-photos, heroic survival stories, and bring awareness to the brutal Cambodian genocide. The coordinator created all below pieces on Adobe products. 1. A postcard introducing the concept, with efforts of collecting T-photos in a grassroots campaign. 2. Effective corporate sponsorship campaign. 3. Exhibition postcards 4. A Private Preview Reception invitation sent survivors, sponsors, funders, and collaborating partners. 5. Gallery Wall layout plan of the photos. 6. Labels accompanying the pictures 7. Program book 8. Exhibit logo
What issue or problem were you working to address with this piece?
More Than a Number is the first-ever effort to collect transit numbers and stories from Cambodians who fled the torturous Khmer Rouge regime’s genocide, which killed over 2 million. The photos symbolize the moment in each refugee’s life when the years in filthy refugee camps were over, and they were accepted for asylum in a new country. Ironically, although these transit photos were taken for the purpose of documenting refugees leaving the holding centers, the photos are also eerily reminiscent of those photos taken at S-21 Prison prior to the execution of roughly 21,000 victims. More Than a Number was chosen as the title for this historic project as it captures succinctly the fact that the people shown in the photos were beyond resilient. They were extraordinary, dynamic human beings who rose out of the ashes and made something of themselves and their children in their new lands. Our goal is to bring world-wide attention to Cambodians' plight and to honor our heroic survivors.
How has your submission successfully impacted your organization’s ability to solve this issue/problem?
The submitted pieces, which includes all aspect of the “More Than a Number” exhibit presented a project of substantial significance and of great potential. The quality of the marketing pieces has effectively allowed us to not only collect transit photos in the Greater Lowell area, but has successfully allowed Light of Cambodian Children to capture the capital donation needed for the first year of this exhibit---and help publicize the exhibit and Cambodians’ plight to the Greater Lowell area….and beyond. The exhibit has been well received by this community---and the word is spreading, so we hope that our goal to travel the photo exhibition, with an effort to collect more transit photos and stories, and to bring awareness of the genocide to other US cities will be achieved.