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Monday, 21 July 2008

Can there be beauty in the destruction of war?

Can there be beauty in war and its destruction? Or is this photo some form of art?
I took this photo of a ruined building in Cholon, Saigon’s twin Chinese city forty years ago. Probably in May, 1968.

I can’t remember if I was thinking anything at the time or if it was just one of dozens of snaps I took that and other days.

I never posed people for photos with the exception of girl friends. Buildings of course were already posing for me.

I never took many photos of dead people. I imagine something in me found it to be not in very good taste. Of course I did not always have a camera in my hands. Sometimes I had a gun and at others was much too pre-occupied with staying alive.
Internet did not exist at that time. I now have many regrets over photos I did not take. Of course that probably has something to do with old age and nostalgia. This along with many others has spent the last forty years as a negative on a roll of film in some forgotten drawer. There were periods in Vietnam when I took many photos, others, perhaps months, when I took none at all.

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