In the mid 1990's the United States government formally extended a diplomatic olive branch to its former foe, the Socialist Republic of Vietnam.? Economic and social change germinated and began to sprout and soon western interest cautiously took notice - by 2006 Vietnam would be hosting the APEC Summit, and in January of 2007 the country became the WTO's 150th member.? Many of the traditional populous are stuck in cultural customs but the majority of the 85 million are eager to modernize; consuming fast food from KFC and Pizza Hut to connecting with the globe through the internet sites of Linkin and Twitter.? The consensus seems to be a commitment and optimism to flower as the nation's floral plant, the Lotus Blossom.
Growing Vietnam is a collection of images from an on-going documentary project that I began in 2006, primarily focused in and around the metropolitan of Ho Chi Minh city and down through the Mekong Delta into Ca Mau, the most southern province of the nation.? Anticipating that the emerging war torn Communist country would be moving quickly to enact major changes after decades of self imposed isolation, followed with several scores of political dormancy from old order communist party to a more contemporary open global trend, it seemed that "Đổi Mới" or Renovation was an absolute.? The alternative for the government would have meant more civil conflict, primarily from the impoverish youth in its citizenship. My photographic effort is to simply document, holding still with images, reflections of a nation's peoples struggle as they embrace the values of capitalism, while clinging to its religious culture and communistic principles.
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