This will be a discussion on the process in 1988 of acquiring special government permission to photograph Khanh Phu, a village 60-miles south of Hanoi. It was during a time when Americans were forbidden from spending an overnight in a Vietnamese home and dealing with the restrictions left over from the war. My aim is to return to Khanh Phu to document the changes that have occurred since my last trip in 1990.
Photo of Nickelsberg’s gear by John Pamer for American Photo Sept-Oct 2003
Robert Nickelsberg worked as a Time magazine contract photographer for nearly 30 years, specializing in political and cultural change in developing countries. He is the author of Afghanistan – A Distant War, published in 2013 by Prestel, which represents his 25 years of wqork in Afghanistan. Nickelsberg’s new book, Afghanistan’s Heritage: Restoring Spirit and Stone, done in conjunction with then U.S. Department of State, was published in English, Dari and Pashtu in May 2018. He was a 2019 Logan Nonfiction Fellow during which he brought together his 1982-1984 photographic coverage of the Guatemalan civil war combining the archival documentation of genocide of the Ixil Maya by the Guatemalan military with survivors found on a return trip to the highlands of Quiché in January 2019.
His work has been published in the New York Times, Life Magazine, The Wall Street Journal, The London Times and the Washington Post among numerous other publications and books.
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