Drawing With Light (June-August 2014)

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Vietnam Friendship Village is a home and safe haven for children who suffer the effects of Agent Orange, a dioxin released to destroy vegetation during the Viet Nam War. The Village provides medical facilities and educational resources for these innocent victims, in hopes of helping the children live a more independent life. As recipient of Yale-NUS College's Social Impact Fellowship (previously the 'Student Generated Initiative'), I spent three months conceptualising and implementing a five-week arts education programme, using photography as a medium for interaction with victims of Agent Orange in Hanoi, Vietnam.

This documentary project aims to re-shape the narrative around those who have suffered the effects of Agent Orange. The existing visual narrative surrounding the aftermath of the War has typically zeroed in on suffering and the grotesque, reducing humans to sub-human subjects who are perpetually confined to dark, isolated spaces. While the hardship and societal isolation is no doubt a real burden borne by the young people I lived with, as well as their families, more can be done to represent them as fully-formed dynamic individuals with their personal quirks and passions capable of moments of joy, ambition and lightness.

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