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A collection of the most moving, vivid and poignant pictures, taken by the 134 photographers who were killed or reported missing in Vietnam and Indochina between the 1950's and 1975, is being brought together by Vietnam photographers Tim Page and Horst Faas (himself a double Pulitzer Prize winner, 1965 & 1971). The images were chosen after painstaking research through over 10,000 pictures from the archives of photographers from both sides of the conflict.
The Exhibition, at London's Proud Galleries, runs from July 13th to September 2nd
Featuring some of the most memorable war photographs ever taken, the exhibition of over 200 pictures documents the transformation of the serene landscapes in Cambodia and Vietnam into the brutal visions that have become synonymous with this conflict, culminating in the nightmare fall of Saigon and Phnom Penh in 1975.
Historic images are mixed in with poignant reminders of the fate of the photographers from both sides of the conflict - and the courage of the photographer and the compassion amid the brutality of war is ever-present.
- Life cover shot: Taken by the great English war photographer Larry Burrows from his photo-essay 'The Vicious Fighting in Vietnam' - the first time the U.S public became aware of what the war in Vietnam was really like.
- Last roll taken by Capa - of French troops sweeping through fields in northern Vietnam, shot a few hours before he was killed by a mine.
- Camera with bullet hole: The camera of Taizo Ichinose is a relic, preserved as part of a family shrine.
"If I put together an exhibition of the living photographers' works, it would not be better than this" Faas.
The exhibition includes the work of the following photographers:
- Robert Capa: one of the most celebrated war photojournalists of 20th century, who famously said that a good photo has to be in close.
- Larry Burrows: the great British war journalist whose coverage became the infamous Life Magazine Cover.
- Sean Flynn: an adventurous photographer and son of film star Errol Flynn
- Henri Huet: constantly in the field, shooting photos of soldiers with tender and compassion. Perhaps his most poignant shot is that of a marine chaplain administering the last rites to photographer Dickey Chapelle, after shrapnel had torn open her cartoid artery.
- Tran Binh Khuol: whose duty was to be a soldier as well as a photographer.
As Faas explains, the motivation behind the collection was one of a simple memorial.
"The loose nature of the conflict enabled war photographers an unprecedented
free reign. It allowed us to move in circles previously uncharted by the war
photographer; to capture the essence of the defining moments in war - from the
point of view of the citizens as well as the soldier.
"The only way to do it is to be there, alongside them. To get the best picture of a captured prisoner, you have to get him just as he is captured. The expression he wears at that moment will then be lost forever.
"However the consequence of this - the brutal price of front line reportage - is the accompanying danger. These pictures are testimony to the price they had to pay. As such they have a message I cannot find in the pictures of those who survived. This, I hope, is a fitting requiem."
"We can look at the photos and think of the violence in front of them even as they pressed the shutter. They were out there alone, had come to the end of civilisation as they knew it, were terrified, aware that there is no immunity in situations like this, surely wondering whether this would be the last thing they ever saw."
Venue: Proud Camden Moss, 10 Greenlands Street, London
Nearest tube: Camden Town
Opening times: 10am - 7pm, every day
Entry fee: 3 Concessions 2
(All proceeds are going to the Indochina Photo Requiem Inc and The McNicoll Rehabilitation fund)