sabato 8 luglio 2017


For much of the world, the visual history of the Vietnam War has been defined by a handful of iconic photographs: Eddie Adams’ image of a Viet Cong fighter being executed, Nick Ut’s picture of nine-year-old Kim Phúc fleeing a napalm strike, Malcolm Browne’s photo of Thích Quang Duc self-immolating in a Saigon intersection.
Many famous images of the war were taken by Western photographers and news agencies, working alongside American or South Vietnamese troops.
But the North Vietnamese and Viet Cong had hundreds of photographers of their own, who documented every facet of the war under the most dangerous conditions.
Almost all were self-taught, and worked for the Vietnam News Agency, the National Liberation Front, the North Vietnamese Army or various newspapers. Many sent in their film anonymously or under a nom de guerre, viewing themselves as a humble part of a larger struggle.
We had to be extremely careful because we had limited amounts of film that had been distributed to us by our paper. For us, one photo was like a bullet.
Nguyen Dinh Uu

Equipment and supplies were precious. Processing chemicals were mixed in tea saucers with stream water, and exposed film was developed under the stars. One photographer, Tram Am, only had a single roll of film, 70 frames, for the duration of the war.
Faced with the constant threat of death by bombing, gunfire or the environment, these photographers documented combat, civilian life, troops on the Ho Chi Minh Trail, resistance movements in the Mekong Delta, and the bloody impact of the war on the innocent.
Some were photographing to document history, while others strove to use their cameras as weapons in the propaganda war. Shooting clandestinely in the South, Vo Anh Khanh could never get his photos to Hanoi, but exhibited them in the mangrove swamps of the Mekong Delta to inspire resistance.
Many of these photographs have rarely been seen in Vietnam, let alone in the rest of the world. In the early 1990s, photojournalists Tim Page and Doug Niven started tracking down surviving photographers. One had a dusty bag of never-printed negatives, and another had his stashed under the bathroom sink. Vo Anh Khanh still kept his pristine negatives in a U.S. ammunition case, with a bed of rice as a desiccant.
One hundred eighty of these unseen photos and the stories of the courageous men who made them are collected in the book Another Vietnam: Pictures of the War from the Other Side.
“The vast dark forest was my giant darkroom. In the morning I’d rinse the prints in a stream and then hang them from trees to dry. In the afternoon I’d cut them to size and do the captions. I’d wrap the prints and negatives in paper and put them in a plastic bag, which I kept close to my body. That way the photos would stay dry and could be easily found if I got killed.” Lam Tan Tai
“During the American bombing, I took my most memorable photos. I actually shot a photo of Senator John McCain’s plane falling out of the sky over Hanoi. I was proud of that photo and wanted it to convey a message of patriotism in the face of foreign invasion.” Vu Ba

Nessun commento:

Posta un commento


Related Posts with Thumbnails