Kompong Pluk is a fishing village that changes its appearance and rhythm of life
according to the floods of Tonlé Sap. The only road through the village
is lined on both sides by a row of houses on 5 meter high stilts.
Whether you can walk or sail depends on the season.
During the dry season the red soil is dressed in bright dry shrimp carpets,
upside down wood kayaks, just painted blue and red and fishermen remain
in the cool shadow of their houses fixing fishing traps and nets.
Everyone is waiting for the rain.
Monsoon rain brings new life while Tonlé Sap freshwater floods the main street.
Children play in the muddy puddles under gray clouds, the villagers look at the sky fearlessly,
thanking Buddha at the pagoda next to the village.
In the flooded forest the trees once again mirror itself in the transparent water,
the end and the beginning are melting together. The clouds clear and a sunray penetrates
and illuminates the knotty trunks. Spirits from Khmer traditional stories seem revealed
and bring to life the curved limbs. A girl perched on her kayak bow increases her paddling
while the chant of cicadas stops for an instant.
Clouds are back, darkening the sky, a new downpour has already started.
A girl is dancing in the rain.
(words by Federica Adamoli)