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   Ibby  Friday Dec 14 03:12 AM

December 14, 2012: Phan Thi Kim Phuc

I'm having trouble properly sourcing the second picture - found via Tumblr - as definitely being her, but as I've seen the photoset validated by quite a few fairly reliable tumblrs, I'm going to present what linkage I can find.

I think most Americans are familiar with the pulitzer-prize-winning Trang Bang napalm attack photograph:

Attachment 42134

Well, via an apparently Wikipedia-posted photoset, according to the tumblr posts I could find with Wikipedia in the source field, here she is this year:

Attachment 42135

presented along with this caption:

Quote:
Kim Phuc was pictured in a world-famous and iconic photograph from the Vietnam war, running naked from an airborne attack, horribly burned with napalm, in June of 1972. Since then, Kim has found peace, and a message she can offer, borne of her suffering.

She runs The Kim Foundation International, and she acts as a Goodwill Ambassador for UNESCO. She has transformed into a viable, visible symbol of peace and hope. Hers is an important story of resilience, courage, and forgiveness.
along with an additional link to this NPR story.

My heart goes out to civilian victims of political conflict around the world, in this season of goodwill towards man. It's uplifting to see a generally nameless and generic un-thought-about subject of such an iconic photograph follow up on her trauma with such powerful activism and visibility.


Sundae  Friday Dec 14 05:52 AM

I think that photo is older than this year. I'm sure it was in her autobiography, which I read a couple of years ago.

It's very moving, as is the photo.
She didn't exactly have a walk in the park as an adult either.



BigV  Friday Dec 14 12:36 PM

Sundae, from what you read of her autobiography, during her "no walk in the park", did she come through it alone or did she have allies? That second picture seems so serene, do you think she still has a chip on her shoulder?



glatt  Friday Dec 14 12:59 PM

The photographer of that second image appears to be Joe McNally, who writes in his blog about how a few years ago he was working for Life magazine and was assigned the task of tracking her down and getting a current picture of her.

She was an anti US propaganda pawn of communist Vietnam. Was eventually allowed to move to Cuba, where she met her Vietnamese husband. They flew from Cuba to Moscow for their honeymoon, and when their plane stopped over in Canada, they defected. They have lived in Canada since.



Sundae  Friday Dec 14 03:04 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigV View Post
Sundae, from what you read of her autobiography, during her "no walk in the park", did she come through it alone or did she have allies? That second picture seems so serene, do you think she still has a chip on her shoulder?
Slight correction to what I wrote before - it was not an autobiography, rather a biography written with permission and input.

She had allies, but she found them in peculiar places. She was in no position to step out of the spotlight and simply be cared for by her family. She was a fighter though.
Her whole life was shaped first by the war and secondly by the physical trauma of her injuries.

As Glatt says, she was never allowed to be normal.
The life she had before simply did not exist. She lost family in the attack as well as her privacy and a life free from pain; napalm is the gift that keeps on giving. She also encountered racism in Canada (possibly still does when not recognised).

Not sure she has a chip on her shoulder per se. She embraces the country she lives in and has a strong Christian faith. She chose to use the injuries that put their stamp on her whole life and the curiousity of the public to do something to help others.

I admire her enormously. Physical disfigurement is hard to bear, let alone to celebrate and use to raise awareness.


footfootfoot  Friday Dec 14 05:11 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by BigV View Post
Sundae, from what you read of her autobiography, during her "no walk in the park", did she come through it alone or did she have allies? That second picture seems so serene, do you think she still has a chip on her shoulder?
No, those are just scars from the napalm.


Aliantha  Friday Dec 14 07:10 PM

I know this thread is about the woman, but that baby is just gorgeous.



Leus  Friday Dec 14 08:35 PM

Thank you, Internet. That picture haunted me when I was a kid, and continued to do so for years. Every time I see a documentary with that footage the feeling arose.

I got chills with the current picture. I'm so happy right now. Thank you guys!



Trilby  Saturday Dec 15 07:24 AM

sorry....



xoxoxoBruce  Saturday Dec 15 01:59 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sundae View Post
I think that photo is older than this year.
Yes, it's been around for awhile, I remember having the same feelings as Leus when I saw it.


CaliforniaMama  Friday Dec 21 01:20 PM

When I first saw the pic of her holding (her?) baby, I was so focused on their beautiful faces that I thought she was wearing a lacy top.

After looking at the photograph for a while, my focus eventually changed and I realized that what I thought was lace is really her scars.

As in all of life, my eyes have reminded me that it is all a matter of perspective . . .



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