Jonathan Van Smit is a Hong Kong-based street photographer. He’s done (or is doing) a project in Phnom Penh, called Heart of Darkness. It’s about the people of the slums behind street 51, around the Golden Sorya Mall area.
He talks a little about the project in this interview – the thing that interests me most is his questioning of the project’s justification – these are hard-hitting images, difficult to look at, (very noir), but how can they be justified? There’s no easy answer to that I guess, but for me, they’re an education about an aspect of Phnom Penh life that’s normally closed off.
More about Jonathan and his photography here. “Basically I just walk around for hours, sometimes all day, taking photos of anything that looks interesting to me or fits into one of my themes. I’m particularly interested in cities, how they change, the lives of people who have become marginalized by economic change, and in how they deal with adversity.”