Wanted to add this video to the blog; How photographs told the story of the Vietnam War
“In a new 50th anniversary book – Vietnam, The Real War – the US news agency Associated Press has chosen some of its most powerful images, taken by photographers embedded with US troops fighting the Communist Viet-Cong.”
I’m having a bit of difficulty with the term ’embedded’ as this term was first used long after the Vietnam war was concluded – or lost as the Vietnamese might say – and denotes the way in which photographers were allowed ‘back into the fray’ post their exclusion after the Vietnam War. As the video says, photographers were unedited, this was being the last time in a major conflict they were unedited, maybe the only time they were unedited – assuming the process of editing can be an non-activity, which I doubt. Nick Ut’s photograph here is an edited version of the image he made whilst running backwards to fame. The self immolating monk, which as the narration reminds us, turned the coverage of the war from the back pages to the front page and kept it there for a decade more with more and more graphic images in a version of the truth that became a touchstone for censorship and political action that reverberates today.
My excursion into the graphic imagery of war and victim photo journalism will shortly come to an end, there maybe one or two more posts, including the edit of a critical essay on the subject and I hope to leave it alone for the rest of the course.