Wednesday, November 21 2018

VietNamNews

Huế exhibition gives voice to Agent Orange victims

Update: October, 29/2018 - 09:00
Areas in orange were those sprayed with Agent Orange during the war. Photo recaptured by Phước Bửu
Viet Nam News

THỪA THIÊN-HUẾ — The Museum of History in the central province of Thừa Thiên-Huế is showcasing 200 photographs of Agent Orange (AO) victims and planning related activities following the lawsuit against producers of AO.

The organisers said the exhibition aims to offer more support for AO victims across the country.

The museum worked with the Vietnamese Military’s Chemical Forces in organising the exhibition.

Phan Tiến Dũng, director of the province’s Department of Culture and Sports, said the war ended long time ago but pains from AO remain today.

“The impacts of AO continue to hurt thousands of families in the province mentally and economically,” he said, raising the need to sue the companies which produced AO for compensation to the victims.

The photographs are grouped in four topics – AO calamity, AO pain, Việt Nam’s recovery from AO and activities by the Việt Nam Association of Victims of Agent Orange (VAVA).

The majority of the photographs are those depicting AO victims in Việt Nam and other countries, including US war veterans. Others focus on the impacts of AO on nature and ecology.

A list of companies subject to lawsuits named at the exhibition includes Dow Chemical, Monsanto, Monsanto Chemical, Pharmacia Corporation, and Hercules Incorporated.

The photographs were taken by both Vietnamese and foreign photographers.

The exhibition opened on Thursday and will last for one month until November 25. The exhibition is open for free at the Museum of History, which is located next to the former Imperial Palace in the city, also known as the Huế War Museum.

In the period between 1961 and 1971, US forces conducted a chemical campaign including 19,905 instances of spraying chemicals into Vietnamese territory. A total of 80 million litres of chemicals was used, of which 61 per cent was AO.

Three million people in one third of total Vietnamese territory were the first generation of victims. The harm resumed on the fourth generation of victims, with symptoms including paralysis, blindness, cancer and severe psychological conditions.

Today victims number around 187,000 in total, including second, third and fourth generation victims of AO. — VNS

A photograph by Nguyễn Đình Quốc Văn captures Agent Orange victim Nguyễn Hoàng Anh, born in 1991 in HCM City. Photo recaptured by Phước Bửu
A photograph taken by Goro Nakamura depicting conjoined twins Việt and Đức in 1981. The twins were victims of Agent Orange. Photo recaptured by Phước Bửu

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