Inauguration of the photo exhibition “Hanoi as I see it” at the Imperial Citadel of Thang Long

On 23 April 2015, the Thăng Long – Hà Nội Heritage Conservation Centre  worked with the UNESCO Office in Hanoi to organize a photo exhibition titled “Hanoi as I see it”. This is the first photo exhibition held at Thăng Long Imperial Ciatdel with the participation of the general public.


The exhibition “Hanoi as I see it” introduced 73 most typical photos, selected from thousands of photos taken by members of the public as part of the Photovoice programme sponsored by the Japan/UNESCO fund-in-trust. The exhibition was joined by many inhabitants of Hanoi with a view to bringing the heritage site closer to the general public through the photovoice approach, i.e. giving the people cameras to tell their own stories. Twelve members of the community aged between 14 and 46 whose jobs ranged from barbers to office workers, sellers, housewives, students, and cadres of teh Youth Union enthusiastically participated in the programme since July 2014 to date. Each of these 12 members told their own stories, original and passionate, about life and people around them. Some of the photos feature various moments of everyday life, people and scenes, the simple but faithful depiction of efforts to make a living. Others recorded emotions and memories of Hanoi in the hustle and bustle of today’s life, introducing various aspects of Hanoi’s unique culture, from festivals and quintessence of craft villages to the aged-old customes and mores.


Mme Katherine Muller-Marin, Head of the UNESCO Office in Hanoi speaking at the inauguration ceremony of the photo exhibition

The exhibition focused on five major themes:

Daily life: Despite the hustle and bustle of the city from dawn till dusk, the colourful life in Hanoi can still be seen and felt in every street corner, lanes, parks, churches, etc. Despite the hardship of making a living, Hanoians still remain upbeat and enjoy their lives with their own bliss.

Traditional crafts: Stories about craftspeople who love their jobs offer a more vivid picture of Thăng Long – Hà Nội as “the land of a hundred crafts”. Whatever craft they do, be it aged-old or recent, these people are always passionate about their work and regard it as an essential part of their everyday life.

Cultural activities: Demonstrations of festivals, spiritual culture, and modern street art add to the truthfulness and vividity of the coloful picture of Hanoi people.

Folk knowledge: In the busy life of the city, many people have gradually forgotten the values of folk wisdom. However, these values continue to be useful once carefully preserved and adapted to suit modern life.

Living heritage: Thăng Long Imperial Citadel is not only an interesting place for sightseeing but also a place where the public drop in now and then to explore, exchange and examine the cultural and historical values bequeathed by the generations of yore.

Addressing the inauguration ceremony, Mr. Trần Việt Anh – Director of the Thăng Long – Hà Nội Heritage Conservation Centre emphasized that: “Through this exhibition, the organizers wish to convey a message about the importance of instilling a sense of responsibility in the community, calling upon citizens to join hands in preserving and promoting the tangible and intangible cultural values of the nation”.

Expressing her keen interest in the idea of the project and acknowledging the efforts made by the members of the programme, Mme Katherine Muller-Marin, Head of UNESCO Office in Hanoi said: “Each photo and story bears testimony to the local community’s interest in the preservation of the cultural values of Hanoi. Through the photos, people can demonstrate their love, passion and enthusiasm towards the heritage of their home city”.

The exhibition is open until the end of August 2015.

Kim Yen
Thang Long – Hanoi Heritage Conservation Centre




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