[ndlr] Témoignage de l’artiste Minh Uong dans le New York Times.
How I Escaped Vietnam
A family vacation revives thoughts about fleeing South Vietnam as a child.
The images accompanying this article are a combination of drawings from memory and the new artwork based on our recent trip back to my homeland.
This year, my wife suggested that we take a family vacation to Vietnam. Our daughters are growing up — Lein was 19 years old and Tai was 16, and she pointed out that they won’t want to be dragged along with their parents much longer. Plus, she said. “We’re not getting any younger.”
Still, I thought she was crazy. I know a lot of Westerners are discovering Vietnam (“world-class cuisine,” “breathtaking natural beauty” and “Asia’s most resilient peoples” are a few descriptions you will find on travel sites), but it wasn’t at the top of my list as a vacation destination. Maybe that’s because I was born there. It has been more than 40 years since I left and, to this day, I still feel some trepidation at the sound of exploding fireworks. To me, they reverberate vividly in my memory like those turbulent last days of the war.
It was April 30, 1975, and Saigon, the capital of South Vietnam, was under siege. I was 10, the youngest of eight children. I was living with my parents and four of my siblings in a one-room house. The Vietcong were making their way toward the capitol building. The sound of bombs exploded nearby. My parents, hoping to get us away from the chaos, told my brothers and sister to get on our bikes and ride away. When things calmed down, they said, we should come back.
It was the last time I would see them for 14 years.
Lire la suite : The New York Times, 16/12/2015.
Image “à la une” : © 2015 Minh Uong/The New York Times