Requiem: By the Photographers Who Died in Vietnam and Indochina

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9780679456575: Requiem: By the Photographers Who Died in Vietnam and Indochina

Between the height of the French Indochina War in the fifties and the fall of Phnom Penh and Saigon in 1975, 135 photographers from all sides of the conflict are recorded as missing or having been killed. This book is a memorial to those men and women, and in many cases it includes the last photographs they took.
    
Horst Faas and Tim Page, two photographers who worked and were wounded in Vietnam, have gathered many thousands of pictures by those who were killed. Their search has taken them through the archives in Hanoi as well as those of Western agencies. In some cases families have generously provided access to private files where unknown bodies of work have lain unseen for more than forty years.
    
The list of the dead includes some of the greatest photographers of the century, such as Robert Capa and Larry Burrows, and some who had been working in Vietnam for only a matter of days before their deaths. A number of the Cambodian photographers working for the Western press were executed. Other photographers, like Sean Flynn and Dana Stone, disappeared. Their loss inspired Tim Page to begin this memorial.
    
The resulting sequence of photographs follows the course of the war and the transformation of the serene landscapes of Cambodia and Vietnam into scenes of nightmarish devastation. At the moments of intense battle one is reminded not only of the courage of the photographers but of the compassion amid the brutality of war. These photographers were intimate with war to a degree that may well be denied future generations. That intimacy led to their deaths. Their photographs are their legacy.

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Review:

Horst Faas and Tim Page's Requiem is a portfolio of work by combat photographers who died in Vietnam and Indochina. The photographers came from many countries. Some were famous, such Robert Capa and Sean Flynn; others will be remembered only thanks to this stunning book. Among the photographs presented here are some that everybody old enough to remember the war has seared into their memory: Larry Burrows's famous image of a first-aid station south of the DMZ, where a wounded black marine reaches out to his white brother; Huynh Thanh My's wrenching photographs of suspected Vietcongs' being tortured by government troops; Dana Stone's elegiac portraits of American soldiers marching to their deaths in the A Shau Valley. Requiem is a masterwork, a grim testimonial to a war that seemed as if it would never end--but that has too quickly been forgotten.

About the Author:

Horst Faas was born in Berlin in 1933. He joined the Keystone Agency in 1951, for whom he covered the Indochina peace negotiations in Geneva in 1954. He joined the Associated Press as a photographer in 1956 and covered wars in the Congo and Algeria, and was later sent to Laos. From 1962 to 1974 he was based in Saigon as the AP's chief reporter for Southeast Asia. He won a Pulitzer Prize in 1965 for his work in Vietnam and in 1972 for his photographs of Bangladesh. He has also received the Robert Capa Gold Medal. Since 1976 he has been based in London as the AP's senior editor.
    
Tim Page's photographic career began in Laos, where at the age of eighteen he covered the civil war for UPI. He photographed the war in Vietnam for the Associated Press, UPI, and Paris Match. He was wounded four times, the final time almost fatally. He returned to England in 1979 and was the subject of the BBC film Mentioned in Dispatches. His search to discover the fate of his friends Sean Flynn and Dana Stone, who disappeared in Cambodia, was the subject of another film, Darkness at the Edge of Town, in 1991, more than twenty years after they vanished. Page's return to Cambodia led him to found the Indochina Media Memorial Foundation in 1994 and was the genesis of Requiem. His books include Tim Page's Nam (1983), Sri Lanka (1984), Ten Years After (1987), Page after Page (1988), Derailed in Uncle Ho's Garden (1990), and Mid-Term Report (1995).

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