Monday, May 30, 2011
Justice has been done for American veteran. When will it be done for Vietnamese victims?
Vietnamese people struggle with agent orange
Monday, May 16, 2011
US photographer raises money for Agent Orange victim -
Titled “Nu’s pain,” the exhibition featured 20 black and white photos about the life of Nu—an autistic child with hearing and visual impairments—taken over four years by American photographer Justin Mott.
Agent Orange is a defoliant that was sprayed extensively in Vietnam and Cambodia by U.S. forces during the war with America. The dioxins, which experts say are still in the soil of heavily sprayed areas, are suspected of effecting millions of Vietnamese and causing hundreds of thousands of birth defects.
Money from auctioning photos and ticket sales will be used for Nu’s physiotherapy treatment and medical care at the dioxin victims support center, Friendship Village.
Nu cannot hear, speak or see, and is autistic. Agent Orange is thought to have caused the mental illness of Nu's father, and she now lives with her grandparents.
Mott met Nu in 2007. He was born in Rhode Island, and now lives in Hanoi and is working throughout Southeast Asia. In 2008, his work on Agent Orange orphans won the annual photo contest from the America-based PDN magazine and he was awarded the Morty Forscher Fellowship for humanistic photography from the Parson’s school of Design in New York City.
Tuesday, May 10, 2011
CHARITY EXHIBITION: SUNDAY MAY 15TH AT SOUTHGATE IN HANOI
By Justin Mott
I met Nu 3 years ago while I was researching a story about 3rd generation Agent Orange victims in Vietnam. With the help of my dear friend Mrs. Thuy from Trung Vuong school I visited the Friendship Village 30 minutes outside of central Hanoi. I was greeted by a bunch of joyous children tugging at my hand and proudly firing off all the English words they knew at me.
After the novelty of a foreign visitor wore off the children went back to playing soccer, skipping rope, and joking around on the playground. I wandered inside one of the large plain buildings labeled simply T5. The building was dark inside and as I closed the door the laughter of the children faded and I was drawn to a soft consistent humming.
Underneath a staircase, alone in the darkness, a little girl sat with her head buried in her chest, humming a tune over and over again, unaware that I was there. That was the first time I saw the girl named Nu who was to become an important part of my life.
I found out she was autistic, blind, mostly deaf, and mute. Seeing this child in complete isolation left me empty. I knew that moment I wanted to tell Nu’s story and I was certain doing so would somehow ease her suffering.
I’ve been documenting Nu’s life for 5 years on and off. Last year her time at the Friendship Village came to an end and she had to go back to live with her grandparents.
Her grandparents are extremely poor and elderly and they aren’t able to take care of her properly. They have reached out for help and want her to go back to live in the Friendship village where she can received physical therapy, medical treatment, and more intimate care.
With the help of Mrs. Thuy and Truong Vuong School, we are trying to fund Nu to return to her life at the Friendship Village. And for that we need your help.
Please join us at Southgate restaurant on Sunday May 15th at 4pm for a photography exhibition of Nu’s story along with an auction of my personal work photographing SE Asia for numerous international publications throughout SE Asia for over 6 years.
All proceeds from the event will go towards funding a better life for Nu at the Friendship Village.
Here is a direct link to Nu's story:
Please RSVP to me by email firstname.lastname@example.org so I can gauge how many people are coming and thanks so much for your help.
For those of you not in Hanoi and who can't attend don't worry you're not off the hook :). I'm going to sell a small number of editioned prints that will be available to be purchased directly online.
This is another photo of Nu that I took 6 years ago.