October, 16 2012 09:12:57

Photos recall blitz of Ha Noi


Twelve days and nights: The exhibit features vivid images and the undaunted spirit of Ha Noi citizens and the army during long-range bombings by US B-52s in 1972. — VNS Photo Truong Vi
HA NOI (VNS)— Ha Noi's Days and Nights in 1972, a photo exhibit of the city taken during the 1972 US B52 blitz of the city, has been unveiled at the French Cultural Centre.

The show features vivid images capturing the undaunted spirit of Ha Noi citizens and their anti-aircraft force during the air raids by US B-52s by the end of 1972.

It showcases the most memorable events of 1972 – the key year in the resolution of the conflict between Viet Nam and the US.

It was the year of the Linebacker Operation, the bombing of the French representative office in Ha Noi on October 11, as well as the continuous B-52 air raids Hanoians had to endure for 12 days and nights. Other landmark events feature the signing of the Paris Peace Accords on January 27 1973 representing the culmination of negotiations that lasted five years.

The exhibition thoroughly explains each stage of the battle, covering targets, strategies and statistics to tragic losses, both material and human.

The event has been organised by the Ha Noi-based Ecole Francaise d'Extreme-Orient (EFEO) (French school of Asian studies) and the French Embassy in Viet Nam.

It marks the 40th anniversary of the bombing of the French representative office in Ha Noi.

"I hope the exhibition can remind those who lived during the war and those who have never experienced the war of Ha Noi in 1972," said Olivier Tessier, head of the EFEO.

"I also hope it can help the public get a view of the war from both the French and Vietnamese perspective," he added.

Visitors to the show can also hear extract of stories told by living witnesses who endured that difficult period in Ha Noi and have first hand experience of the war atrocities.

Organisers used films, file photos and documents provided by both Vietnamese and French organisations including Vietnam News Agency (VNA), the Viet Nam's Airforce Museum, the Viet Nam National Documentary and Scientific Film Studio, the French National Audiovisual Institute and La Defense Department of Information and Audiovisual Production.

Various individuals also contributed photos to the exhibition including Jean-Marc Gravier, Alain Wasmes, Nicolas Cornet and former VNA's photojournalist Chu Chi Thanh.

The exhibition's opening ceremony on Friday was followed by a seminar further exploring the topic with participation from several Vietnamese and French historians.

"I am very interested in listening to foreigners share their ideas about the Vietnamese history," said Nguyen Thi Kieu Oanh, a student from the Ha Noi University of Education.

The exhibition was chiefly organised by researcher Tessier. Holding a doctorate in anthropology, he was granted the Bui Xuan Phai – Love for Ha Noi award in September for his research on Ha Noi's Ancient Citadel.

The prize recognised his work collecting precious photos and documents on the citadel and organising exhibitions and conferences honouring the values of the old capital.

The show will run until November 9 at the French Cultural Centre, 21 Trang Tien Street. — VNS

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