National Geographic photographer Catherine Karnow, at an FCC lunch in early March, showed photographs taken during the years of the most dramatic change seen in modern-day Vietnam, 1990 – 2014, on her assignment for National Geographic, the Smithsonian as well as many self-assigned trips.
Her images of Vietnam in the dark years, the early nineties, showed a country that was just beginning to emerge from the dismal years of poverty and austerity; there was no color, no joy. In the mid-nineties new economic policies brought business from all over the world, such as golf courses only foreigners could afford, Coca Cola, awkward fashion shows, and a new school for Vietnamese Airlines flight attendants.
Karnow also showed photographs of two legacies of the Vietnam War: Amerasians and the ongoing plight of Agent Orange victims. She also recounted her long lasting friendship with General Giap and his family not only was she the only non-Vietnamese photojournalist to accompany General Giap in 1994 to the northern Vietnam highlands from which he plotted the battle of Dien Bien Phu, she was the only western journalist to be a close witness to his funeral and burial in October 2014.
Catherine Karnow’s photos appear in this month’s Correspondent magazine. If you want to experience Karnow’s presentation please click on this link to view the gallery.