Withmore than 2000 photos received over three months, some of the best images of the Viet Nam Photo Expression 2020 Showing we care, sharing our vision on culture diversity were put on display during the launching event co-organized on 25 November 2020, by UNESCO, the German Embassy in Ha Noi and Vietnam Today Magazine at TOONG co-working space, where they will be exhibited from 25 November to 2 December 2020.
The photo exhibition aims to highlight the beauty of cultural heritage and cultural creativity in Viet Nam. Individuals were invited to submit photos they have taken in Viet Nam in the following categories: Landscapes of Heritage Sites and Monuments; Cultural Transmission from Generation to Generation; Arts and Creativity; and Harmony of People and Nature. Applicants were encouraged to take into account core UN principles of cultural sensitivity and diversity, gender equality, human rights and environmental sustainability in taking and selecting photos for their submission.
Within the framework of the cultural conservation programs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Germany, we have cooperated with Vietnamese partners to carry out a number of conservation and restoration projects at many historical sites of Viet Nam for many years. Recently this has included the restoration of Phung Tien palace, part of the Hue Citadel World Heritage Site, which has been completed with significant German support. And now we are happy that the Viet Nam Photo Expression 2020, undertaken in partnership with UNESCO, complements Germany’s efforts to preserve culture and encourage cultural creativity in Viet Nam.
The photo winning First Prize, “Workmates”, was taken behind the stage of a Boi, one of the traditional singing performances in My Tho city, Tien Giang Province, capturing the uniqueness of an intangible cultural heritage that is now gradually fading. The author, Dinh Cong Tam, is not a professional photographer but a doctor who loves photography and culture. He shared that both medical and culture-related professions are working for humanity and emphasized the visual strength of pictures in cultural conservation.
In another story, the author Ngo Thi Thu Ba captured Second Prize with a photo that speaks of the love for nature and people of Viet Nam. As photography is not a popular job for females, she relates that she often faces inconveniences travelling with male colleagues and with limited time for photography due to the responsibilities expected of a woman in a family. Nonetheless, her deep passion helped her to capture the "Seaside Painting" illustrating the fishermen's work in harmony with the golden sandy coast and a blue sea.
“The Bay Mau coconut forest”, was taken in the East of Hoi An – Quang Nam province where the river meets the sea. This is an area where community ecotourism has supported sustainable economic development, helping people to protect the environmental resources of the coconut forest and serving as an opportunity to conserve and promote the unique local culture. The author Phan Vu Trong took this photo in February 2020, just before the severe crisis of COVID-19 would begin its great impact on tourism in Viet Nam.
Through the lens of applicants, I can see Viet Nam’s beauty, both in its people and its landscape. As the story behind the photos, I have a chance to listen to your emotions which you have somehow managed to capture with your photographs. The 2005 Convention on the Protection and Promotion of the Diversity of Cultural Expressions stresses that cultural diversity forms a common heritage of humanity and should be cherished and preserved for the benefit of all. Therefore, your photos do not just speak to the diversity of Viet Nam, but the wider world and the communities, peoples and nations within it.