Kashi wins UNICEF Photo of the Year Contest for AO image

Vietnam Reporting Project fellow Ed Kashi has won first prize in a UNICEF Photo of the Year Contest for his portrait of a young girl from Danang, who is affected by Agent Orange.

The Photo of the Year prize is awarded by UNICEF Germany for photographs and photo series that best depict the personalities and living conditions of children around the world.

Kashi’s photograph of nine-year-old Ly was taken as part of the Vietnam Reporting Project, which is based at the Renaissance Journalism Center at San Francisco State University.


Kashi and photographer Catherine Karnow visited Danang, Vietnam in July 2010. Assisted by Chidren of Vietnam, an agency which provides care to Vietnamese children with disabilities, Kashi and Karnow met and photographed Ly, who has a facial deformity, concave throat and weak heart. Ly is believed to be affected by dioxin, which was one of the ingredients in Agent Orange. Ly’s grandfather was a soldier during the Vietnam War, and her mother and aunt also have facial deformities.

Kashi and Karnow have also produce a 15-minute documentary called, "The Leaves Keep Falling," about two families struggling with the affects of Agent Orange.

Kashi said that he was honored by the award and hoped it would make people aware that many young Vietnamese are still affected by Agent Orange, nearly 40 years after the end of the Vietnam War.

"To me this work is about making the world a better place and as journalists, we can only do that with the cooperation of non-governmental organizations and charities like Children of Vietnam," Kashi said.

While the exact number of children with disabilities and the specific cause of each child’s disability is unknown, the Vietnamese government estimates that 3 million people in the country suffer from the effects of Agent Orange. The Vietnam Red Cross estimates that 150,000 Vietnamese children are disabled due to their parents’ exposure to dioxin.

A number of areas with high residual dioxin still exist in Vietnam today, most notably around the perimeters of former bases where there was intensive and repeated close-range spraying, including Danang.

About the Vietnam Reporting Project: The Vietnam Reporting Project is a journalism fellowship program designed to produce groundbreaking multimedia news coverage on the enduring environmental and health consequences of Agent Orange contamination in Vietnam.

About Ed Kashi: Kashi is a photojournalist, filmmaker and educator who is dedicated to documenting the social and political issues of our times. He is based in Montclair, New Jersey. For more information about Kashi, go to http://www.edkashi.com.

About Children of Vietnam: Children of Vietnam provides humanitarian assistance for poor, orphaned and disabled children and their families in Vietnam. For more information about Children of Vietnam or to make a donation, go to http://www.childrenofvietnam.org.

Comments are closed.