Peace in Vietnam Children’s Eyes

Saigon’s War Remnants Museum has an incredible Children’s Art Exhibit. Since 2000 the museum has coordinated with the General Science Library and Fine Arts Museum to organize a drawing competition for urban children.

“The competition attracts some 100,000 children each year, from which the War Remnants Museum – an institution dedicated to the history of the so-called American War – collects 2,000 to 3,000 pictures from children aged 5 to 15. The works are poignant testimony of the lingering legacy of war upon children generations removed from the fighting, and about the hopes for peace that fill the hearts of young people around the world.”

In 2011 the War Remnants Museum and the General Science Library celebrated the 14th “Green Drawing Lines” contest encouraging urban children to participate in an amateur drawing contest involving cultural and educational topics. Of 28,000 drawings submitted 1,660 had a theme of “hope for a world of peace and friendship”. On the anniversary of Vietnamese Teacher’s Day in November 2011, 120 paintings were placed on exhibit.

Speak Peace: American Voices Respond to Vietnamese Children’s Paintings is a traveling exhibition of artworks by children from Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon). Exhibitions of the original artworks produced by Vietnamese children have traveled to major cities in Denmark and Japan, and in 2011 arrived on a multi-city tour of the United States. The exhibit is an opportunity to consider the impact of war through the eyes of children, to consider its long-term effects on the psyche of a nation, and to reflect upon similar impacts of current conflicts around the world.”

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The show came to the US on the 40th anniversary of the shootings at Kent State University. Organized by Soldier’s Heart, a veteran’s support organization in Troy, NY, the exhibit came to the Capital Region through the efforts of the Center for Documentary Arts and the Sage Colleges Veterans Week.

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