In her new book, Thy Phu puts forth the proposition of warring visions to “denote how Vietnamese communities actively enlisted images to project aesthetic and ideological positions, the stakes of which were nothing less than legitimizing competing claims to the nation” (15). She focuses on the Second Indochina War and its aftermath, which shaped her own personal journey of growing up in Sadec and fleeing Vietnam for Canada after a short interlude at the Pulau Bidong refugee camp in Malaysia. She examines images made during the war and after 1975 in an attempt to redefine the genre of war photography, which has long privileged the spectacular in its iconography. Phu focuses on how diverse communities in Vietnam and North America deployed images in “symbolic combat,” using them, for instance, for “peaceful reconciliation” or a means of “quiet resistance” (15–16). To do so, she considers different materials that would normally elude...
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Book Review| August 01 2023
Review: Warring Visions: Photography and Vietnam, by Thy Phu
Warring Visions: Photography and Vietnam.
Duke University Press,
2022. 248 pages. $102.96 (hardcover), $26.95 (paperback).
Journal of Vietnamese Studies (2023) 18 (3): 158–161.
Zhuang Wubin; Review: Warring Visions: Photography and Vietnam, by Thy Phu. Journal of Vietnamese Studies 1 August 2023; 18 (3): 158–161. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/vs.2023.18.3.158
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