French photographer Roland Neveu has spent five decades covering Southeast Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. His work also took him from South America to Africa and Hollywood, where he shot stills during film productions for Oliver Stone, Brian de Palma, and Ridley Scott.
His world had changed dramatically during his university days in Paris of the 1970s when student protests interrupted Neveu’s studies. He picked up the camera to “capture the moment” then headed for Thailand and eventually Cambodia.
Over the next two decades he covered the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, the siege of Beirut, bloody feuds in El Salvador, civil war in the Philippines and the people’s power revolution that ousted President Ferdinand Marcos.
Later he moved to Bangkok and launched a small publishing company dedicated to publishing books about Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand, including his own works.
They included “Cambodia, Years of Turmoil,” which focused on over 35 years of coverage of Cambodia, and “The Fall of Phnom Penh.” Neveu still covers major events in the region.
Neveu spoke with The Diplomat’s Luke Hunt in Bangkok about his career, working with photographers like Don McCullin, Tim Page, and James Nachtwey, and why Cambodia remains close to his heart.