Tuesday, November 13, 2007

My Lai

I found it interesting in class when we were discussing the importance of the media and its effect on American’s opinion of the Vietnam War, especially when Professor Potter said that a whole class could be devoted to the subject. Last year, at a different university, I took a class called Remembering Vietnam, which focused on the effects of music, journalism, and television on the war. One instance when the media had a vast impact on the war was when Life magazine in December 1969 published a series of photos exposing the My Lai massacre. The My Lai massacre was the murder of hundreds of unarmed Vietnam citizens by American troops in the village of My Lai. Most of those killed were women, children, and the elderly. The photos not only exposed the carnage and injustice of the My Lai instance, which was being disputed in America as to exactly what degree of violence occurred in My Lai, but also fueled national and international anti-Vietnam protests.

One of the most provocative images, a photo of a mass of dead women and children piled on top of one another, was used by a group of anti-war artists to create a protest poster. The poster was the photo with a line taken from a CBS interview of one of the soldiers who participated in the My Lai massacre, Q: And Babies, A: And Babies, written in red over the image. The artists were unable to display their work in the MOMA gallery in NY and so instead distributed thousands of copies at anti-Vietnam protests around the country and globe. This image had a vast impact on the anti-war movement: Americans and those who supported the war before now questioned the war strategy of the government.
Original Image
http://www.learnnc.org/lp/multimedia/3290
Protest Poster
http://www.art-for-a-change.com/blog/2005/03/artists-and-my-lai-massacre.html

Margaret Hannay

1 comment:

Judith said...

To my knowledge, this poster was designed by an Iranian artist who went by the name of Farman. In my most recent communication with him (communication being severely limited by the current climate) he was alive and well.