Russ Juskalian.PHOTOGRAPHY
To spare you is no profit, to destroy you is no loss, read a famous Khmer Rouge slogan. To this day, the shadow cast by decades of torture, starvation, and tyranny influences a rapidly modernizing Cambodia. This could be seen no more clearly than along a roughly 170-mile stretch of dilapidated railroad running through the Cambodian countryside. In the first decade of the 21st century, passenger trains ceased to run the tracks. But an ingenious combination of available parts (bamboo, old tank wheels, motorcycle engines), the need for commerce and interaction, and the raw human spirit not only to endure, but to invent and thrive, gave birth to a Frankenstein's pump trolley known as the norry. In 2009, commissioned by the Smithsonian Magazine, I rode the line and photographed lives being built around this illegal, but utilitarian mode of unsanctioned transportation.