Koh Pich, which translates into Diamond Island, sits at the mouth of where the Tonle Bassac river’s journey begins towards Vietnam. Located just in front of Phnom Penh city center, the island didn’t exist half a century ago. Its short existence has been marked by violent evictions in 2006 followed by a tragic stampede during the water festival of 2010 that left at least 339 people dead. Koh Pich has become a showcase for Phnom Penh’s developmental ambitions. The two-kilometre-long island is home to a golf driving range, the city’s largest international exhibition centre, a fire station, a new city hall and a theatre. The whole project is megalomaniac, and kitsch is on display everywhere.
Nevertheless Koh Pich has become the favourite playground of the local youth who cruise around on their motorcycles, a weird place where lovers pass by shiny peacocks, where people come to watch the sunset on the river while backstage, the many workers and their families start cooking their supper.
This images were taken between early 2012 and March 2015