In mid-September, photographer Nguyen A hosted a photo exhibition themed ‘Vietnamese spirit in the fight against COVID-19 pandemic’ in Hanoi, introducing the public to his 400 latest pictures on the silent contributions of the “soldiers in white blouses” who are working at the frontline to battle COVID-19.
His photos vividly captured the anti-COVID-19 battle in “hotbeds” across the country where medical workers and armed forces embraced every hardship to support people in concentrated quarantine areas as well as touching images of humanity during such as difficult period, seen through the installation of “rice ATM” machines and “zero VND shops” to assist the disadvantaged.
Also featuring the theme of COVID-19, an exhibition and photo book entitled ‘Sai Gon Mua COVID-19’ (Saigon during COVID-19’ by photographer Tran The Phong provided visitors with a different look at Ho Chi Minh City during its fight against the pandemic.
In contrast to his 2019 photo book ‘Nhip Song Sai Gon’ (The Rhythm of Saigon), which illustrated a busy and dynamic Ho Chi Minh City amidst the rush of life, the "Saigon during COVID-19" reflects a quiet, yet strong and resilient city.
A total of 101 photos presented in the book were selected from more than 2,000 files which were taken by Phong from January 2020 until the city relaxed its social distancing regulation.
During the city’s 22-day period of practicing social distancing measures, Phong recorded the city’s life from early in the morning until dusk. He also lent a helping hand in delivering rice and food to underprivileged people in the city.
COVID-19 has also become part of literary works by young authors, including ‘Di Qua Mua Dich’ (Experiencing Two Diseases) by Dy Khoa.
Dy Khoa and his book entitled ‘Di Qua Mua Dich’ (Experiencing Two Diseases) (Photo: baophapluat.vn)
Khoa recalls his own story 11 years ago when he was found positive with the A/H1N1 virus. This part provides readers with not only details from his early symptoms to being released from hospital but also the author’s unforgettable memories when he was hospitalised as well as the valuable sentiment among patients and between patients and medical staff.
In the second part of the piece, Khoa acts as an observer and listener gathering people’s stories about the impacts of COVID-10 on their livelihoods and the community in general. However, they all shared high hopes and trust that everything will be OK and that together we can overcome it if we unite and share in the pandemic.
According to the author, the book is his thank-you note to his mother who always stood by him as well as medical workers who have worked at the frontline to protect people’s health.
Recently, the Ho Chi Minh City Publishing House released a book named ‘Mac Ket’ (Get Stuck) by Phuong Thu Thuy, a stranded tourist who was supposed to enjoy her trip to the US but everything ran out of control as she has now been stuck in the host country for nine months.
Thao wasn’t even able to fly home when her book was published in Vietnam. In her book, Thao shared her own experience while staying in the US during this tough period as the world faces such a dangerous and yet invisible enemy.
COVID-19 will continue to be the inspiration for authors and artists. It is hoped that through their works, artists will share humane stories and generate positive thinking among readers so that they are fuelled with faith and courage in the fight against the pandemic.