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An-My Lê in "Protest"

Landscape photographer An-My Lê is fascinated by military war exercises. “I think my main goal is to try to photograph landscape in such a way so that history could be suggested through the landscape, whether industrial history or my personal history,” she says.

Lê discusses her return to Vietnam, where she grew up amid the violence of the Vietnam War, to photograph people’s activities, revisit childhood memories, and reconnect with her homeland, as well as her experience photographing military re-enactors, whom she found on the Internet. Unable to travel to Iraq to document current U.S. incursions in the Middle East, Lê worked with marines training at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in California.

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Closed captionsAvailable in English, German, Romanian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Italian

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An-My Lê

An-My Lê’s photographs and films examine the impact, consequences, and representation of war. Whether in color or black-and-white, her pictures frame a tension between the natural landscape and its violent transformation into battlefields. Suspended between the formal traditions of documentary and staged photography, Lê’s work explores the disjunction between wars as historical events and the ubiquitous representation of war in contemporary entertainment, politics, and collective consciousness.

12:59
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12:29
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12:32
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“For me, being able to go back to Vietnam and make those pictures was a way to reconnect with a homeland, or this idea of what a homeland is.”

An-My Lê

Artist An-My Lê discusses her process of aestheticizing war, and the thinking behind her choice of black and white photography.

An-My Lê

1:08
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An-My Lê

4:02
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An-My Lê

5:25
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An-My Lê