It is within the constellation formed by these sets of opposition-open and secret, light and dark, visible and invisible-that this chapter examines the idea of not looking and its relation to the West turning away from the tragedy that unfolded in Cambodia. The Khmer Rouge, who combined ultra-Maoist ideology with strident nationalism, ruled over Cambodia from April 1975 until January 1979, when the Vietnamese army chased them out. In the hands of the Khmer Rouge, the country became a gigantic hard labor camp in which almost two million Cambodians lost their lives. Their crimes
were mentioned in Western mainstream media but news about the situation in Cambodia never reached a critical mass in public opinion. Khmer Rouge atrocities were perpetrated amid international indifference.