Vietnamese Veterans was initially inspired by the realization that in contrast with the media popularity of American veterans from the USA-Vietnam conflict the Vietnamese ex-soldiers who fought in the was to defend Vietnam today have little or no recognition, both inside and outside Vietnam. This war however is only one of the fights that Vietnam had to undergo over the past century in order to maintain its independence. The project focuses on the personal stories of Vietnamese veterans who fought in four different wars, and on the way in which the war influenced and still influences them and their lives.
While working on the project I was moved by the stories of the veterans. The veterans I photographed were very grateful to me for listening to their stories and wanting to spread them, and with this book I hope to do just that.
The portraits speak out a medley of emotions and feelings; pride, nostalgia, fear, pain, joy. Such feelings were drawn out through consensual informal interviews carried out before shooting the pictures, to allow original memories and emotions to emerge and to be captured in the portraits
Vietnamese veterans is a project that builds its meaning on multiple layers. First of all it is a historical testimony of what the Vietnamese had to endure in order to keep their country independent, where the facts are narrated by those who experienced it at first hand. Moreover the project acknowledges and gives a voice to those men and women who have played such crucial roles, and yet who’s stories are largely unknown so far, both inside and outside Vietnam. Finally Vietnamese Veterans is an ethnographic journey through human feelings, and the impact that wars can have on human beings.