My Mother’s Light – 30 Years Later

My Mother’s Light from Lenée Son

My mother immigrated to Vancouver, B.C. in 1983 after escaping the Khmer Rouge genocide in her native Cambodia and living in a refugee camp in Thailand for several years. During Pol Pot’s reign in Cambodia, my mother lost many family members, including her father. In “My Mother’s Light,” I explore how my mother’s history and strength have shaped my identity.

Photos and story: Lenee Son
Producer: Aaron Goodman

The creation of this story was supported by the Visual Media Workshop ( and Kwantlen Polytechnic University (

Three photos of the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, Phnom Penh, Cambodia:



Lenee Son
Lenee Son is a freelance photojournalist and writer based in Vancouver, B.C. She draws her inspiration from a range of social and global issues. As a woman of color and second-generation survivor of genocide, she is passionate about supporting human rights through her work.
Twitter: @leneeson

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