|Making history: Nguyen Thien Nhan (second right), Chairman of the Viet Nam Fatherland Front and VNA leaders at the exhibition on the historic Dien Bien Phu victory. — VNA/VNS Photo Nguyen Dan
HA NOI (VNS) — Visitors to the photo exhibition Dien Bien Phu — 60 Nam Ban Hung Ca (Dien Bien Phu — The 60-Year-Old Epic) can relive the historic battle through more than 100 intense images.
Taken by photojournalists from the Vietnam News Agency (VNA), the photos represent the fierce war between Vietnamese soldiers and French invaders. In one image, a group of soldiers tries to pull a cannon over a high slope, while in another, Vietnamese health workers take care of a wounded French soldier. Others depict President Ho, General Vo Nguyen Giap and other army leaders discussing strategy and civilian workers transporting weapons and other necessities to the frontline with rudimentary bicycles.
Speaking at the exhibition's launching ceremony yesterday, VNA's General Director Nguyen Duc Loi said: "Among thousands of press photos of the Dien Bien Phu campaign, several are anonymous as the photographers laid down their lives before revealing their names. Those martyr journalists, in their way, contributed to bringing the name ‘Dien Bien Phu' across border far beyond Viet Nam and into the world's history."
Attending the ceremony, Chairman of the Viet Nam Fatherland Front Nguyen Thien Nhan said the display offered him the chance to see many photos for the first time.
"For all of us, this is a great chance to review our history as well as to show our gratefulness to the generations who fell to protect our country. These valuable photos are witnesses that will live forever," Nhan said.
Veteran photographer Pham Van Hoat said the black-and-white file photos made him recall the tough time when he was a photojournalist during the American War.
"I was just a child when the historical Dien Bien Phu campaign took place in 1954. However, these photos make me think about when I, together with many other war reporters, rushed into battlefields in the South to capture images of the war," the grey-haired man said. "Like the photographers who took these photos, we devoted our hearts and minds to our dangerous job; some of us even paid with our lives. However, if our photos can tell the truth about the war, we think it's worth the sacrifice."
For 10th-grade student Duong Bich Huyen, the exhibition helped her gain insight into the Dien Bien Phu campaign and its victory.
"History is my favourite subject at school. The day before visiting this photo display, I visited the Viet Nam Military History Museum, where I learned a lot about our nation's wars for independence. This exhibition has added to my knowledge of Vietnamese history," the 16-year-old girl said.
Alongside the black-and-while file photos, the exhibition displays 60 colour photos taken in recent years by VNA photographers, which depict the region's recent socio-cultural and economic achievements.
Organised by the VNA, the Dien Bien Phu — The 60-Year-Old Epic exhibition celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Dien Bien Phu victory and commemorates the heroes, martyrs and soldiers who participated in the campaign.
The exhibition will be open in the lobby of the VNA headquarters, 5 Ly Thuong Kiet Street, until May 12. — VNS