Thursday, April 19, 2012

Kim Phuc: 'The Girl in the Picture'

I have been intrigued by the story of Kim Phuc ever since I was a young teen and first saw this image.  When I was in high school, I went through a phase where I was obsessed with the 1960's and early 70's.  I attempted to glean everything that involved fashion, music, politics, war, and rebellion.  I watched a ton of movies, documentaries, and read books that concerned this era.  When I came across this photo, I was flipping through a photography book about the Vietnam war looking for images for my OAC art class.  It's one of those images that will never leave you.

If you have never seen this image before, I will give you a quick synopsis of the situation.  In 1972 Kim Phuc and her family lived in the village of Trang Bang in Vietnam.  The South Vietnamese suspected that the village was occupied by the North, and sent a flurry of Napalm bombs in killing and seriously injuring innocent people.  As Kim Phuc ran through the Napalm and smoke, which burnt her clothes off and sent her skin to peel off her body, Nic Ut from the Associated Press encapsulated this horrific scene.

I had later watched a documentary on the painful rehabilitation of Kim's burnt skin, and it was a miracle she had lived through the bombing.  Another unbelievable thing I found out, was that she now lives less than an hour from me!  In 1992 she arrived in Newfoundland with her husband, where they asked for political asylum.  Since then they have moved to Ontario and started a family.

This Saturday April 21, 2012 at 7:00 pm Kim Phuc will be at Redeemer College in Ancaster going a talk about her personal story, while sharing historical footage, and discussing strength and forgiveness.  The talk is free, with the opportunity to donate money that will go to an organization that will help children at need.

I highly suggest that if you live in the area you go see her talk!

Redeemer College Talk

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