Saturday, 15 May 2010

The girl in the picture

There is an article in the most recent TATEetc on the forthcoming exhibition, ‘Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera,’ entitled, ‘What are you looking at?’

In this article there is an un-credited picture of Vietnamese children fleeing the village of Trang Bang, after it had been napalmed by South Vietnamese government planes. Unlike the similar and famous image by Nick Ut, this picture also shows the children being filmed and photographed by journalists. In the context of this upcoming exhibition, the difference between the two pictures is striking.

Kim Phúc – one of the children in the pictures - appears on Radio 4 next week in an episode of 'It’s My Story'.  In this programme – according to the radio 4 website - she explains how “Nick Ut's Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph has helped and haunted her in equal measure.”

Today, ITN footage of the bombing and of Kim Phúc and others fleeing the village can be viewed on YouTube.

Exposed: Voyeurism, Surveillance and the Camera opens at Tate Modern on the 28th May

It’s My Story: The girl in the picture will be broadcast on Radio 4 on Tuesday 18th May at 4pm

A version of the article 'What are you looking at' (without the photograph referred to above) is available on the TATEetc website.

Further reading

Hariman, J. and Lucaites, J. L. (2007). No caption needed: iconic photographs, public culture, and liberal democracy [Chapter 6 ‘Trauma and Public Memory: Accidental Napalm’]. University of Chicago Press.