Vietnam has always had a somewhat special place in my heart, even before I set foot in that country for the first time in the early 1990s. It had to do with images from the Vietnam War which, I learned only many years later, is in Vietnam called the American War – a term also used in this book. I was fascinated by how exotic (to my Swiss eyes) the Vietnamese looked, how cultured they seemed to be. To me, the Far East always stood for a romantic longing (the impenetrable mysteries of the Orient) that over the years that I spent in Southeast Asia became replaced by a more realistic take on things Asian and the pragmatic, highly materialistic Asians.
Hanoi Streets 1985-2015: In The Years of Forgetting allows me to travel back in time, in my imagination, that is. Many scenes depicted in this very well done tome I have seen too. Not the same of course but similar ones. And they do fill me once again with this strange romantic longing from many years ago. Yet there are many other shots that showed me what I had never seen. One that particularly stands out shows a woman preparing to be photographed (p. 145).
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