Tag Archives: Cluster Bomb

A New Beginning for Cluster Bomb Survivor

Ta Chomaly

https://gofund.me/0c34145f

My good friend Mike Boddington MBE is working on a project in Laos that is near and dear to my heart. Please donate to help bring financial security to Ta Chomaly and his family!

From the GoFundMe campaign:

Ta’s Story: In 2001, Ta Chomaly was a farmer and fisherman in a rural village in Laos before an unexploded cluster bomb accident changed his life forever. Ta lost his lower left arm, his right hand, and the vision in one eye, while his other eye was badly damaged. He was 28 years old with a wife and seven children. The US illegally dropped more than 270 million cluster munitions (known in Laos as “bombies”) along with other ordnance on Laos during the Vietnam War. Up to 30 percent, or about 80 million of the cluster bombs did not detonate and remain buried in the land over vast parts of Laos. Ta is among the more than 20,000 innocent Lao civilians killed or maimed by unexploded ordnance, primarily cluster munitions, since the war ended almost 50 years ago.

Ta and his wife and one of his seven children

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Unexploded Ordnance Survivor Video

Last year I created a video for World Education (WE) in Laos. It’s a short documentary fundraiser for the War Victims Medical Fund (WVMF)When I was approached with the idea by one of the team members from WE’s Victims’ Assistance Support Team (VAST), I knew I had to do it—although, it wasn’t an easy video to make. I feel very strongly about the people still being affected by United States’ Vietnam-era munitions, and at times was overcome by the pointlessness of the violence happening to them.





If you cannot see the video above, click here.

My only disappointment about the project was that I didn’t get to travel to Teuy’s remote village when VAST did a checkup trip. When the team gathered in Teuy’s home, as is usual, many of the neighbors came by to see what was going on. When they saw him opening bottles of water and bags of chips, they were amazed. When they commented on it, Teuy said “And I can do a lot more!”

That would have made an amazing end to the video, but knowing it happened was enough.

Posted in Humanitarian Photography, Videos Also tagged , |

Haam Jap! (Don’t Touch)

This was a great project I worked on in Laos last year. The kids learned filmmaking skills, had a good time, and got to go to the capital (most had never been there). The twelve hour bus ride was a bit of an ordeal, but it was worth it.

Here is the info about the project:

Conceived, written and produced by the students of Lone Buffalo, the short film ‘Haam Jap’ is a Public Awareness Video designed to alert children in Laos (and worldwide) of the continued danger of Unexploded Ordnance.

The film was shown at the 2015 Vientianale International Film Festival.

The students wrote three scenarios in which bombies can maim or kill. They used props available in the classroom and local market to produce special effects, and shot the film on location in and around Phonsavan.

On Vimeo:





If you can’t see the video above, click here.

Film Director Teng Vue Fai Dang (18) said he wanted to create a film that would remind both children and adults that bombies are sadly both metaphorically and physically “in our roots” and will pose a danger for many years to come, especially in Xieng Khouang, the world’s most heavily bombed province.

The only shots not taken by the students were of the defused munitions, since it was deemed inappropriate for them to be near or handle actual UXO, even though it was all FFE (Free From Explosives).

On YouTube:





If you can’t see the video above, click here.

The film was Executively Directed by Jon Witsell and James Thomas. This film was produced for and funded by the US State Department.

Lone Buffalo is an free English Language project in Phonsavan, North East Laos. The students who produced this film live in Xieng Khouang Province.

Posted in Humanitarian Photography, Travel, Videos Also tagged , , |

Thinking About: Composition, #3

As  a general rule, I don’t tend to crop photos very often. I tend to like to stick to a certain format or ratio for an entire project and prefer to use what I’ve captured in camera. But, I’m starting to rethink this. The following photo, for example:

Photo Thinking About Composition #1

3:2 Ratio

3:2 is the in-camera format the image was originally capture in, and I liked it. But after spending some time editing the image,  Read More»

Posted in Black and White Photography, Thinking About... Also tagged , |

Raining Cluster Bombs

This is a time-lapse of the cluster bomb display at the Cooperative Orthotic Prosthetic Enterprise (COPE) in Vientiane, Laos.





If you can’t see the video above, click here.

Below is a picture of half the Chronos Light time-lapse rig used to shoot the image sequence—there is another tripod below, securing the other end of the rail.

Photo Raining Cluster Bombs

Posted in Timelapse, Travel, Videos Also tagged , , |

No Words, #13

no_words_13

Posted in Black and White Photography, No Words