Dien Bien Phu in the eyes of French photographer

By Diem Thu, Thanh Nien News

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Some photos taken by Raymond Cauchetier to be displayed at the War Remnants Museum in HCMC from May 9 to mid-July
The War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City will display photos taken by French photographer Raymond Cauchetier in the Indochina War, especially in the battle of Dien Bien Phu, as part of activities to celebrate the 60th year of Vietnam’s namesake victory over the French.
The exhibition will last from May 9 to mid-July.
Huynh Ngoc Van, the museum’s director, said the photos to be displayed had never been released before in Vietnam.
The photos were given to the museum as gifts by Cauchetier, who was born in 1920, during his Vietnam visit in 2005.
In 1951, Cauchetier began taking pictures while serving in the press corps of the French Air Force in Indochina; his unit did not have the budget for a photographer and he bought his own Rolleiflex camera. He remained in the region after his service ended in 1954.
He photographed cities, people and landscapes. He discovered Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia.
In 1964, in the United States, an exhibition organized by the Smithsonian Institution, Faces of Vietnam, traveled around the country for several years.
In 2005, an exposition entitled “Saigon 1955/Ho Chi Minh City 2005: Seen from the Sky” drew a parallel between 20 pictures by Cauchetier and 20 more recent photographs taken by the Vietnamese air force. The installation, in HCMC’s Chi Lang Park in District 1, was seen by over a million people during three months.

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