2004 Photo Contest, People in the News, 1st prize

Philip Blenkinsop

Agence Vu for Time

17 January, 2003

Original caption from World Press Photo (2004)

Yaeng Hua (9), has not spoken since a mortar attack killed his parents, and left him with multiple shrapnel injuries and a broken jaw, Laos. The Hmong ethnic minority sided with the United States army during the Vietnam War and follow-up conflicts in Laos and Cambodia. Members of a CIA-backed militia, they assisted downed US pilots and disrupted North Vietnamese supply routes. As the US government stopped its support for the Hmong after the war, a third of the Hmong population is thought to have left the country, those remaining suffering the consequences of their support for the Americans. Many were forced to migrate to areas where they were unable to carry out their traditional occupation of agriculture, and isolated pockets are reported to be fighting a low-level guerilla war against the Lao government. The leader of the aysomboune camp of Hmong, Moua Toua Ther, recorded his group as numbering 7,000 people in 1975. Today there are around 800 left.


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More information
Through a Glass Darkly, by Robert Godden, published on Witness in September 2017
How should vulnerable children be represented in the media? Are we guilty of applying different ethical standards dependent on the race, ethnicity, nationality, location, gender or class of the child? Robert Godden explores these questions and provides guidelines for photojournalists and organizations. 

What’s the Point of Conflict Photography?, by Lauren Welsh, published on Witness in January 2020
Why take and distribute images of conflict? Lauren Walsh addresses this question and interviews photographers who have covered conflicting issues.

About the photographer

Philip Blenkinsop

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