Phan Thi Kim Phuc was born and raised in the village of Trang Bang, 30 minutes north of Saigon. During the Vietnam War, the strategic Route 1 that runs through the village became the main supply road from Saigon to Phnom Penh. On June 8, 1972 together with American co-ordinators, the South Vietnamese Airforce dropped napalm bombs on Kim’s village. Nine-year-old Kim fled from a Cao Dai pagoda, where she and her family were hiding. Two of her infant cousins died in the attack and Kim was badly burned.
Kim was photographed running down the road, screaming from the third degree burns to her skin. Nick Ut, the Associated Press photographer who was there to cover the siege, took the photograph of young Kim. Moved by her pain, he rushed her to a South Vietnamese hospital. She then spent 14 months recovering in Barsky Hospital, the American hospital in Saigon, where her care was paid for by a private foundation. Ut’s photograph of Kim remains one of the most unforgettable images of the Vietnam War.
Illustration and top photo by Anne Bayin. Bottom photo by Nick Ut/Associated Press.
Web Site: www.kimfoundation.com
Details of this year’s festival programme can be found elsewhere on this website.