Tuesday, May 10, 2011



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 justinmott@mottvisuals.com 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.

Thanks again,


From Tuan

This is another photo of Nu that I took 6 years ago.

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