Vera and Donald Blinken Open Society Archives
Vietnám & Vietnam
The theme of the exhibit is the Vietnam War and its influence on the events on both sides of the Iron Curtain.
The displayed photographs and documents do not attempt to portray the war itself, but they try to shed light on how the war was perceived in the western and eastern media. Several topics were selected, subjects and motifs that are frequently used in war correspondence, and through parallel comparison, it is easy to notice the differences and similarities of perception and representation.
One of the important pillars of this exhibition is the collection of pictures of László Kondor, a well-known American photographer of Hungarian origin. Serving in the US Army, Mr. Kondor spent two years with an active unit, and the pictures he shot on location were published around the world.
Another face of the war is shown by a collection of photographs of Russian and Hungarian photographers. These pictures were also shot on location at the time and comprise the holdings of archives in Moscow and Hungary.
A separate part of the exhibition is dedicated to the portrayal of demonstrations against the war as well as solidarity with the war cause. Connected to the exhibition, the Cirkó-gejzir cinema hosted a film festival about Vietnam where the audience could view propaganda films, which were also partially shown at the exhibition. We would like to emphasize, that it is not the intention of this exhibit to analyze and judge the Vietnam War in a historical-political sense. Rather, it is the relationship to and the influence of the war that gave room to the various forms of representation and which, ultimately, resulted in a definition of a self-identity and world-view unique to both sides. This double perspective is exactly what the exhibition hopes to unveil.