October, 04 2012 10:34:50

Photos of war displayed in Paris

Reminders: Photographer Nick Ut (right) and Phan Thi Kim Phuc address a recent event. The background behind them is Ut's internationally-known photograph Napalm Girl, depicting nine-year-old girl Phuc running naked from her Trang Bang Village, Tay Ninh Province, after being severely burned by a napalm attack in 1972. — File Photo
PARIS (VNS)— As many as 100 photos taken by the Pulitzer-prize winning photographer Nick Ut showcasing images of war and peace in Viet Nam have gone on display in Paris.

The exhibition, entitled Before, During and After the War in Viet Nam, has been organised 40 years after the Vietnamese-American photographer, whose full name is Huynh Cong Ut, took the iconic wartime picture Napalm Girl showing nine-year-old Phan Thi Kim Phuc running naked from her village after being severely burned on her back by a South Vietnamese napalm attack in Tay Ninh Province in 1972.

The black-and-white picture will form part of the exhibition, alongside other photographs illustrating the horror of the conflict. Visitors will also be able to view images taken during peacetime showing the people of Viet Nam gradually returning to a normal life as their country recovers from the war.

There is a large Vietnamese population in France, and many of them have agreed that the exhibition is a significant event, allowing the generations of Vietnamese people born and raised in Europe to understand more about the history of their native country.

Nick Ut, who now works in Los Angeles for AP, said that he had been to many countries over the years but he has continued to return to Viet Nam. Several months ago he published a set of photographs of Vietnamese children who are victims of Agent Orange, and he will continue to illustrate the stories of the Vietnamese people.

At the end of the exhibition, the photographs will be preserved at the headquarters of UNESCO in Paris.

The photo Napalm Girl, taken on June 18, 1972, produced divided world opinion when it was first published in newspapers, and is widely recognised as signalling a turning point in the war. It won Ut the prestigious Pulitzer Prize and the World Press Photo the following year, and changed the life of Phan Thi Kim Phuc, the girl in the photo, who is now serving as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNESCO.

Guy Kopelowics, an ex-colleague of Ut, has hailed Napalm Girl as "the picture of the century," for not only visually describing the war in Viet Nam but also vividly revealing the suffering that Vietnamese people had to endure during the conflict. It communicates the horror in a way that words never could, and helped to influence world opinion against the war. — VNS

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