MÀN (2017)

Vietnam Street Heroines

hand-coloured photographs

 

With Vietnam’s Doi Moi reforms (1986) the household was made responsible for its own economic wellbeing. For many rural families increasingly unable to survive on agriculture alone, women are the ones who assume this responsibility, leaving their husbands and children at home and going to Hanoi to work as roving street vendors. These rural dwellers try to retain their rural roots and lives by earning urban incomes. They conduct a precarious existence near the poverty line, balancing the conflicting demands imposed by the need to earn money in Hanoi and the need to be at home for a variety of ceremonial, agricultural and family obligations.

Based on Vietnam legendary heroines’ history and iconography and inspired by the work of 19th century  itinerant sidewalk photographers, I created an iconic space for these women to stand out within their day-to-day working environment (the street) with the help of random tourists and passers-by.

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O t t a v i a   C a s t e l l i n a

photography