Behind the Lens - Guide, Mista?

The camera captures the odd moment, but what is the story behind? If we decided to take a picture, our hands must have been moved by a curious idea or a reason in our heart. Too many times these are left silent in the modern world of everything visual. Behind the Lens sets out to give voice to these moments.

Guide, Mista?

Cambodia, Kampot province, White Elephant Caves.

If you find yourself in Cambodia, the local wisdom goes something like this: if you are not Cambodian (which clearly you aren’t), you must be a tourist (check) and if you are tourist, you are money money money (not arguable). Most of tourism and popular sites are managed by the state, but the lesser are left behind. In the fairy tale land of fairness these should be free for everyone, but in reality somebody is quick to convert it into a “hammock” business.

When our driver offered to stop by the cave on the way, we figured why not? We left our bags in the car and strolled towards the entrance. “Stop, dolla dolla mista. One person, one dolla” — we heard from the nearby shed. A man had a hammock installed, a bag to collect money and a little son to guide people into the cave. The kid had a flashlight and to be optimistic, maybe 7 years. And that’s how Cambodian cookie crumbles — you have no option, but to pay, you have no choice, but to follow your tiny guide into the vast darkness of the cave. So be a mista, give a dolla and hop on the adventure.

The visuals. Taken by Arthur Bulota, photographer and ambassador of Fujifilm Lithuania, Fujifilm XT2, 10mm.

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