Exploring Saigon 1967 through an American’s camera

Saigon continues to generate interest throughout the world, a city that has gone through the highest of highs and the lowest of lows. Veterans will associate it with the Tet Offensive uprising, which forever changed the course of the war following the coverage of the storming of the American Embassy. The Vietnamese Diaspora followed the Fall of Saigon, which dispersed millions of South Vietnamese all over the globe. Everyone else will remember it from the Pulitzer Prize winning photograph of the Street Execution, one of the most harrowing images of the war. But there are more than just these stories that define the city. My uncle served in Vietnam during the entire year of 1967, snapping photos of his daily interactions with the locals around him. Through these photographs, a new image of Saigon emerges,as a peaceful and vivacious place teeming with life.

Saigon in 1967 was a city that was protected from the war that raged outside of it, a place where three million people went about their daily lives. This collection, about 100 photos in all, offers a portrait of a city that was still unaware of the fate of the war and the tumultuous upheaval it would soon have to face. My goal with these photos is to provide an intimate view at the city, which could provide a little bit of solace to those who left it forever following the conclusion of the Vietnam War. Depicting peaceful scenes of the Vietnamese way of life that the American and the Vietnamese sought to protect, I also hope these photos can positively affect a large audience. Featuring new and unusual angles of the city, this project, named “Sunny Saigon,” offers a poignant view of a dynamic place. It can be followed on Facebook or the book’s website.