Saturday, 19 July 2008
Boy journalists at war. Cholon, Vietnam, 1968
I have found some old photos I took about forty years ago. These were in roles of negatives I had left at my mother’s when I came back from Vietnam after the war. It was only clearing out her house after her death five years ago that they came to light. I brought them back to France from England meaning to look at them but they remained in a drawer for a further five years. Some are of rather bad quality, others have deteriorated over the years, but most are of a certain interest.
They mostly deal with the year 1968 and were taken in Cholon and Phan Thiet. Others go back to 1965 or 1966.
The first one I am publishing is of two aspiring young war photographers. This was taken by me in Cholon, May, 1968. This was a year that had seen repeated Viet Cong attacks which had begun with the Tet offensive at the beginning of the year.
I’m not sure how old these two boys were. I’d say fourteen or fifteen. They were probably working for one of the local newspapers. Very courageous. I took their presence quite naturally. Four western journalists had been ambushed earlier in Cholon. Despite protestations that they were “bao chi” (journalists: also ‘nha bao’) three were shot dead although one managed to escape.
I had a press card at the time although it was not my principle occupation.