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Don Unrau March 9, 2015

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Vietnam.
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War Museum, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, 2014

Don Unrau (b.1950, USA) studied fine art and photography at the University of Colorado. In 1984, using the documentary form and his interest in post war Vietnam narratives; he began work on War Story, a portrait series of Vietnam veterans. In 1989, he was chosen for an artist residency at Light Work, where he completed that series. Don traveled to Vietnam in 1992 to photograph for the first time since he was there as a soldier during the war. He has returned to Vietnam many times and in 2009 his photographs were self-published in the book, Spring Visits: Photographs From Vietnam. His other books are: Hanoi Street Work (2012), and The Revolutionary Moment (2013), comprised of portraits of revolutionary Viet Cong. Don has shown in galleries in the USA and in Vietnam. He continues work on personal projects, including a limited edition, handmade book of the War Story portraits.

About the Photograph:

“This photograph was made at the War Museum in Ho Chi Minh City. I prefer to work with an idea contained in a series, and these images are from The Art Of (War) Tourism. At some point during every visit to Vietnam, I feel compelled to go to one or more of the museums. During the Vietnam War, many countries around the world expressed their solidarity with Vietnam. From what I observed, the tourists are were happy to pose in front of the American hardware that was left behind. Often, parents coaxed their young children to pose in front of a tank or big gun. Maybe they want a small connection to the war and a souvenir photo taken by a friend or family member gives them a feeling of solidarity. Occasionally, I’ll have a conversation about where someone is from and so forth. Many of the visitors are from Vietnam, but also, thousands come from other countries in SE Asia, Japan, Australia, Europe and Russia. In this photo, the young woman is wearing the popular Good Morning, Vietnam shirt from the Robin Williams film of the same name. After posing for her friends, I asked to take this photo and she graciously obliged, making the universal peace sign.”

Christian Rodriguez October 21, 2013

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Vietnam.
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Hoa Tay Lake, Hanoi 2012

Christian Rodriguez (b. 1980, Uruguay) began his visual education at the “Taller Dellioti” of fine arts, studying drawing and painting (1993-1999). Between 2004 and 2005 he worked as a cameraman on VTV chanel, (Uruguay). From 2006 to 2008  Christian  joined the newspaper El Observador (Uruguay). He has worked with news agencies such as AFP, AP and Reuters. In 2009 he won the Roberto Villagraz grant and received an  MA in Documentary Photography at  EFTI (Madrid) winning the “Premio Futuro” for best student of his generation (2009). In 2011 Christian was nominated for the Joop Swart Masterclass. His work has been exhibited in U.S., Spain, France, Italy, UK, Uruguay, Mexico, Brasil, Guatemala and Cambodia and published in  El Mundo, New York Times, La Nación, Clarin and El País among others. In 2013 he won “El Nuevo Talento FNAC de Fotografia.”

About the Photograph:

“When I was working on my project Xiec, about the Vietnamese circus I traveled many times to Vietnam. I lived only 8 km from the circus building in Lenin Park.  Every afternoon when I finished photographing I liked to visit Hoa Tay lake. Many couples go to the lake to talk but usually never kiss in public or even touch. I saw some couples spend more than 30 minutes without making eye contact or saying anything. They are very shy and hardly touch each other. At night this contact is much more evident because there are only a few pedestrians. I liked watching the guys try and touch or approach their love in different ways. It was all very subtle. When they realized that someone was taking a picture they quickly separated. In order not to hinder the task the boy decided to leave wishing good luck for the girl. This photograph was made on February 12th, two days before Valentines.”

Stéphanie Borcard and Nicolas Métraux February 13, 2012

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Vietnam.
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The Reunification Express. Vietnam 2011

BM-photo is the result of a collaborative work between Stéphanie Borcard and Nicolas Métraux (both of them Swiss and born in 1978) living for the past year in Asian hotel rooms. We work on personal projects, developing calm and poetic images. Through our recent series of photographs, we try to create a set of emotions, rather than to document a specific subject. Human interactions have always been our source of inspiration. We used to get very close to people but now, we appreciate a certain distance. Before coming to photography, Stephanie was a teacher and Nicolas a woodworker and an architect. We are collaborating with swissinfo.ch, a Swiss broadcasting agency and with CIAN Agency.  We always work together and co-sign all our images

About the Photograph:

“The Reunification Express was built by the French in 1936, destroyed during the war and rebuilt in 1976, its tracks link Hanoi to Saigon. It is one of the slowest express trains in the world. We like its slow pace and its name. It evokes both a sad past and a present peace. As the train approaches, the tiny crowd starts to move. The small train station is, for a while filled with life. Our journey begins in Hanoi. We sit on a wooden bench aboard the Reunification Express. A hard-seat-and-fan ticket to South. People sleep all over the train trying to escape the heat. The air is thick. Our eyes wander there, outside on the landscape; what happened here? We were born after the war. It did not concern us, yet it was almost all we knew about Vietnam. How does this land look like today? Who are the Vietnamese? This is our travel journal. The destination is not important; it is the way covered that is.”

David Dare Parker April 25, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Vietnam.
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Pham Minh Trieu and his Daughter, Pham Thi Ngoc Vietnam 2010

David Dare Parker (b. 1958, Australia) was one of the original co-founders of Reportage and was a Director of FotoFreo Photographic Festival (Australia). His photographs have been  published in: Le Monde, Stern, L’Express, Focus, Australian Geographic, The Bulletin, The New York Times, Fortune and Time Australia. David’s recent projects include coverage of East Timor’s struggle to gain independence and Indonesia’s first steps towards democracy. In January 2002 he was asked to co-ordinate a safety awareness course for Afghan Journalists in Peshawar, Pakistan for the International Federation of Journalists.  David is a  Walkley Award winning photographer and an ambassador for Nikon Australia. He is represented by SOUTH in Australia and On Asia Images in Asia.

About the Photograph:

It was moving to watch the affection between Pham Minh Trieu and his daughter, Pham Thi Ngoc Minh, 33 years old. This quietly spoken man had been in the Army from 1950 till 1975 and was a medic during the Vietnam War. He remembers hiding in underground tunnels during US Air Force bombing raids. He was based in Baria, Vung Tau, when dioxin was dropped on the area and has strong memories of leaves falling off plants, trees dying and eating fruit from dioxin-affected regrowth. Returning to Ben Tre Provence he married and had a daughter. He blames her defects on dioxin poisoning, a direct result of his exposure during the War. Testing for dioxin in the body is expensive, at around $1,500 per test it is cost prohibitive to most Vietnamese families. Without such tests, there can be no conclusive evidence dioxin was the cause of the defects, offering little chance for compensation, or help, outside of that provided by the Vietnamese Government.”

Justin Maxon April 13, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Vietnam.
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Agent Orange Victim, Vietnam

Justin Maxon, (b. 1983) is finishing his degree at San Francisco State University. He is interested in pursuing documentary projects that focus on the issues of poverty and social injustice. He discovered his passion for documentary photography while working on a project in San Francisco’s Tenderloin District, a neighborhood notorious for its poverty and homeless epidemic. Justin’s awards include first prize from World Press Photo and College Photographer of the Year (2007). He is represented by Aurora Photos.

About the Photograph:

During the Vietnam War, the United States sprayed an estimated 17 million gallons of chemicals on Vietnam. As a result, since the war ended, 1.5 million Vietnamese people are believed to be victims of Agent Orange poisoning, with many of them living in extreme pain and isolation with debilitating symptoms. Those who are significantly affected are in need of constant care. Their lives are a brutal example of the misery that war creates even decades after it occurs.

Kevin German March 15, 2008

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in Vietnam.
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Vietnam, Kevin German

Former Sacramento Bee staff photographer Kevin German is off to Vietnam again. As is evident from looking at his site this young photographer shows exceptional promise. I especially liked his photo-essays about the truck stop in Sacramento and his time spent with Ben Underwood from the series “Echo’s in the Dark”.

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