May 20, 2010

"I wanted to escape the picture..."

"... because the more famous it got, the more it cost me my private life. It seemed to me that my picture would not let me go."


Hoosier Daddy said...

I found an excerpt from the article and a comment from an American to be especially interesting juxtaposition.

Article: It was at Havana University that she met Toan, a fellow student from Vietnam. They married and took a honeymoon in Russia, which provided them with a unique opportunity to flee to Canada.

Comment:I saw the photo on the news stand when it was published. It fueled my antiwar feelings. I demonstrated against the Vietnam War. As an artist, I can never erase that image from my mind. It is almost as powerful to view all these years later. I am pleased she grew up and is happy, working for peace. I regret my country's policies in Vietnam and all around the world.

I guess the fact that she took the first opportunity to flee the oppressive communist system the US was fighting and that she regrets is completely lost on the nitwit from NYC.

AllenS said...

Then, 10 years later, a journalist from Germany tracked Kim down.

She was at university studying medicine but the Vietnamese government cut short her studies and ordered her back to her village to be filmed and interviewed. She was now a propaganda tool.

Even when she succeeded in resuming her studies, this time in Cuba, she was still expected to fulfil her duties as a "symbol of war".

As my whimsy leads me.. said...

""Later, when interest was rekindled, I felt that Kim was being used. That was why 10 years ago I declined a proposed on-screen reunion with her on the Oprah Winfrey Show - it sounded exploitative." Christopher Wain, the photographer (last section of the article.

Good for him!


KCFleming said...

She's resilient, that one.

It's hard being an icon, used for purposes other than your own. Looks like she found a way to control her own destiny after all. Bless her for that effort.

Old RPM Daddy said...

The link to the article ( appears to be dead. Is there another way in?

virgil xenophon said...

What 99% of Americans don't realize is that it was NOT the USAF (the 'Ugly Americans') who dropped that napalm on her village. Rather it was done by her own countrymen, the Vietnamese Air Force (VNAF) who, on the advise of VIETNAMESE controllers who had officially cleared the VNAF pilots to drop their ordanance based on the belief that a) the VIETNAMESE Army (ARVN) conduction clearing operations in the area was taking fire from elements in the village and that b) the entire village was populated by VC sympathizers.

My point in detailing this is that the "meme" that resulted from that photo and widely trumpeted--blatantly propagandized--by the anti-war left, was that this photo represented a classic example of "evil" un-caring, white "imperialists" callously killing innocent "people of color"--as opposed to a horrible mistake made by her own countrymen during the "fog of war" in the midst of a bitter civil war.

In short, this photo represents a classic case in which the "useful idiots" and "fellow travelers" in the MSM willfully aided the anti-war movement and Communist N. Vietnam by uncritically acting as an un-modulated megaphone helping in aiding and abetting the cause of the North Vietnam thru the wide publication/exposure of this photo with NO accompanying contextual explanation save the spin the left chose to put on it.

MadisonMan said...

Before clicking, I was trying to think of what picture it might be.

And I came to the right conclusion. I didn't even see the war tag.

AllenS said...

Mad Man,

To me it was going to be one of two pictures. This one and the one where the South Vietnamese shoots the VC in the head.

Unknown said...

Virgil's point about useful idiots and fellow travelers is well taken. As a result of those times, we have a crew in DC today who have made that sort of thing their life's work, except they're running the country.

Unknown said...

AllenS, the VC execution photo also has more of a story, which you may know. The photographer, Eddie Adams, said, The general killed the Viet Cong; I killed the general with my camera. Still photographs are the most powerful weapon in the world. People believe them, but photographs do lie, even without manipulation. They are only half-truths ... What the photograph didn't say was, 'What would you do if you were the general at that time and place on that hot day, and you caught the so-called bad guy after he blew away one, two or three American soldiers?

Phil 314 said...

I read this and wondered

Do I have more sympathy with her desire to flee her past and live the life she wants or to be associated with an association dedicated to helping child victims of war?

AllenS said...

I did know that Class.