Bộ ảnh thiên nhiên hoang dã của Ma Rừng đẹp đến nỗi người xem phải kêu lên thảng thốt: Đáng yêu thế này, sao ai kia nhẫn tâm tận diệt chim trời?
Tìm hiểu về nghề làm ảnh, chụp ảnh với máy phim đen trắng từ khi còn là nam sinh trung học, tới nay ông Nguyễn Thanh Liêm đã gắn bó với chiếc máy ảnh hơn 40 năm.
Tuy nhiên, phần lớn thời gian trong quãng đời đó, ông cất máy để làm kinh tế gia đình và đi … trồng rừng. Nguyễn Thanh Liêm từng lội rừng dọc Trường Sơn, am hiểu đại ngàn và nghiện trồng cây gây rừng tới mức được bạn bè, đồng nghiệp gọi quen luôn cái biệt danh độc đáo là “Ma Rừng”.
“I am sad that I cannot be in Hanoi this time because of the pandemic, but the city is always in my heart,” he told VnExpress International from Berlin, Germany.
Billhardt has won worldwide recognition for his work in the late sixties and early seventies when the Vietnam War was at its peak. His photographs of daily life amidst the war were powerfully poignant.
Thomas Billhardt at an exhibition. Photo courtesy of Thomas Billhardt.
Billhardt loved photography as a child, being raised by a photographer mother. He graduated from the University of Graphics and Book Design in Leipzig in 1963. When he made the first of his 12 trips to Hanoi four years later, he never imagined that it would give birth to an association lasting more than five decades.
He first came to the capital city with a group of moviemakers from the German Democratic Republic (GDR) in 1967 to film a documentary about American soldiers captured in Hanoi amidst the infamous Operation Rolling Thunder, the bombing blitz unleashed by the U.S. against the north of Vietnam.
He remembers that at the Metropole, the fanciest hotel in town, “there were more mouses than guests and worms in the hotel’s water.”
Seeing the devastation of the war, the bomb craters, destroyed buildings, and the sounds of air raids and sirens calling for people to take cover, he was moved to tell the story of Hanoi and its people with a “photo chronicle.”
“I was angry on seeing the Americans destroy Hanoi… I wanted to show the world the photos I took in Vietnam so they would know exactly what was going on. Then they would understand and love Vietnam, just like me.”
He decided that his wartime photography would focus on people going about their daily lives, busy working and getting ready to fight at the same time.
A tram in 1975. The tram was a popular form of public transportation for Hanoians. Photo courtesy of Thomas Billhardt.
The photographs of crowds cycling under pouring rain, the happy faces of barefoot children attending an outdoor painting class, a stadium filled with people cheering and laughing as they watched a football match and many such scenes of love and care powerfully contrasted and resisted the extreme violence of war.
“I felt a connection with Vietnamese people when looking into their eyes as they suffered from the raging war,” Billhardt recalled, adding the bravery of Vietnamese was a lesson for him.
“Thomas’s photos hold up a mirror to the world while holding out hope at the same time. They tell of the world’s social inequalities, of poverty, of suffering, of war, but also of the life and laughter of the people who live in it,” said Wilfried Eckstein, director of the Goethe Institute in Hanoi.
Saigon has changed a lot over the years, yet in some ways it is still the same, let’s take a look at 50 years of transformation from 1955 to 2005 through photos by Raymond Cauchetier, from a book of photography titled “Saigon 1955-Ho Chi Minh Ville 2005”.
The photojournalist Eddie Adams, who covered the Vietnam War for the Associated Press, not only captured the action and chaos but took the time to get up close to the Vietnamese people whenever he could. In 1968, he undertook a project called “Hands of a Nation,” taking intimate photos of the hands of Vietnamese soldiers and civilians. Their hands were busy doing so many things then: reaching out for medicine, grasping weapons, straining against bindings, soothing, praying, rebuilding. Adams photographed hands young and old, belonging to the healthy and the wounded, the living and the dead.
Early in 1968, North Vietnamese troops and the Viet Cong launched the largest battle of the Vietnam War, attacking more than 100 cities simultaneously with more than 80,000 fighters. After brief losses, U.S. and South Vietnamese forces regained lost territory, and dealt heavy losses to the North. Tactically, the offensive was a huge loss for the North, but it marked a significant turning point in public opinion and political support, leading to a drawdown of U.S. troop involvement, and eventual withdrawal in 1973. This photo essay, part two of a three-part series, covers the war years between 1968 and 1975.
Warning: Several of these photographs are graphic in nature.
A young South Vietnamese woman covers her mouth as she stares into a mass grave where victims of a reported Viet Cong massacre were being exhumed near Dien Bai village, east of Hue, in April of 1969. The woman’s husband, father, and brother had been missing since the Tet Offensive, and were feared to be among those killed by Communist forces.#
Fifty years ago, in March 1965, 3,500 U.S. Marines landed in South Vietnam. They were the first American combat troops on the ground in a conflict that had been building for decades. The communist government of North Vietnam (backed by the Soviet Union and China) was locked in a battle with South Vietnam (supported by the United States) in a Cold War proxy fight. The U.S. had been providing aid and advisors to the South since the 1950s, slowly escalating operations to include bombing runs and ground troops. By 1968, more than 500,000 U.S. troops were in the country, fighting alongside South Vietnamese soldiers as they faced both a conventional army and a guerrilla force in unforgiving terrain. Each side suffered and inflicted huge losses, with the civilian populace suffering horribly. Based on widely varying estimates, between 1.5 and 3.6 million people were killed in the war. This photo essay, part one of a three-part series, looks at the earlier stages of U.S. involvement in the Vietnam War, as well as the growing protest movement, between the years 1962 and 1967.
Warning: Several of these photographs are graphic in nature.
Hovering U.S. Army helicopters pour machine gun fire into a tree line to cover the advance of South Vietnamese ground troops in an attack on a Viet Cong camp 18 miles north of Tay Ninh, near the Cambodian border, in March of 1965.#
It has been 40 years since the spring day when the last U.S. helicopters lifted up and, shortly after, the North Vietnamese army entered Saigon, deciding a conflict that had raged for years. News photographs from the time showed the world what was going on, from a country full of death in all its gruesome forms to peaceful protests across the ocean. Despite their age, those images have not lost their impact. Tiếp tục đọc “21 Iconic Photos of the Vietnam War”→
Activists meet in the Nam Can forest, wearing masks to hide their identities from one another in case of capture and interrogation. From here in the mangrove swamps of the Mekong Delta, forwarding images to the North was difficult. “Sometimes the photos were lost or confiscated on the way,” said the photographer.
Image: Vo Anh Khanh/Another Vietnam/National Geographic Books
Kyle Michael Nunas hiện là Tổng lãnh sự Canada tại TP HCM. Trong hành trình khám phá Việt Nam cách đây hơn 20 năm, ông đã ghi lại nhiều hình ảnh từ cảnh vật, kiến trúc, đường phố đến con người. Qua ống kính của nhà ngoại giao, mọi thứ được ghi lại chân thực và sống động, từ buổi sớm sương giăng trên hồ Hoàn Kiếm đến ánh đèn đêm huyền ảo ở Sài Gòn hay cuộc sống của người dân ở miền sông nước. Tiếp tục đọc “Việt Nam những năm 1990 qua ống kính của Tổng lãnh sự Canada”→
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