Saturday, September 26, 2009

Miss Landmine 2009 exhibition in Oslo

Dutchman and I visited the controversial Miss Landmine exhibition in the Norwegian Armed Forces Museum in Akershus Fortress (Oslo) featuring the candidates from Cambodia. The project is currently banned by the Cambodian government just last 28 August 2009, a week away from the pageant opening date to be held in Phnom Penh. Officials say that the beauty pageant will destroy the dignity and honour of the disabled, especially the women. A taboo.

Here are some of the contestants below:

Cambodia is clearly not yet healed from its tragic past. But being Asian myself, I can also see the other side of the coin why the Cambodian officials refuse to go along with. In Asian culture a disabled beauty pageant can indeed be seen as a mockery. Asian people in general are respectful, traditional and sensitive, meaning they can easily be offended. They are also a very superstitious lot that tend to put meanings into almost everything.

In addition there are still thousands of undetonated landmines in the Cambodian countryside that kills and maims unsuspecting civilians each year. Obviously this is a much greater, more critical and lingering problem the country needs to solve.

Some of the press clippings about the controversial Miss Landmine contest collected and exhibited at the event.

The goal for Miss Landmine beauty contest is to raise awareness about global landmine contamination, the dangers posed for the unexploded landmines, identify the position and identity of the rest of the landmine survivors and enhance the self worth of the participants.

I voted for a candidate online but I will not tell who.

Click here to view the Miss Landmine magazine with the fotos of the contestants: Miss Landmine Magazine and click here to vote: Vote for Miss Landmine

Travel Period: September 2009
Destination: Oslo, Norway

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