The jeans or denim jacket that you bought recently have likely been made in Cambodia. A strike of thousands of textile workers was violently suppressed there a year ago. Journalist Ate Hoekstra and photographer Kristof Vadino show that not much has changed since then.

A large part of the clothes that we in the West buy has been produced in Cambodia. For more than 600,000 textile workers and their families the clothing industry is of vital importance. But the past few years the industry has been overshadowed by scandals and conflicts. A lot of workers feel exploited and a string of studies show that working conditions in the factories are often far from comfortable.

A year ago, the conflict got completely out of hand and a mass strike was brutally ended by the police. At least five people were killed, dozens injured. It has been a year since the blood bath and it's high time for a closer look at Cambodia's most important industry. Who are the Cambodians that make hip clothes for people in the West day in day out? What are their frustrations? What are their dreams? And how is it possible that the textile industry still experiences that many problems?

Team members

Ate Hoekstra

Ate Hoekstra (1981) is a Dutch journalist who is based in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. 

Kristof Vadino

Kristof Vadino works as a freelance photographer for Belgian and foreign publications. His pictures are published in De Standaard, De Tijd, Elsevier, Le Monde, El País, Trouw... He publishes news photos as well as documentary work.

A working grant of 4,000 Euros, awarded on 18/06/2014.


'Angst voor kogels smoort verzet Cambodjaanse textielarbeiders' (De Tijd, January 6th 2015)

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