Lam

AGE 17

Lam

Lam

I was born in Long An Province, Vietnam. My father died before I was born, fighting in Cambodia, so I grew up with my mother and grandmother. When my grandmother died, my mother remarried and I had to live with my stepfather. I was in danger of being abused; there was no room for me in this new family. Luckily I was assisted in leaving my family and entered a home for children with a similar background. A few years later I was really surprised to be given the opportunity to take photographs – it had always been my dream – to hold a camera in my hand and take photographs.

Lam began learning photography in 1998. Showing natural flair for photography form the very beginning, she now teaches the younger students on the Street Vision course. Last year Lam exhibited some of her own work in a professional exhibition in Switzerland entitled “Lightscapes.” In an interview with the Vietnam News, March 2001, she stated:

When I went abroad to take part in the exhibition I was given 600 swiss francs by the organising board as my pocket money. During my stay in Switzerland I didn’t dare spend it. Back in Viet Nam I feasted the children at my old shelter to their hearts content. In the final analysis, they’re like me, the teenagers of the street. My two weeks in Switzerland might be regarded as the happiest in my life on the grounds that I was properly esteemed – although in the eyes of many Swiss people I was still a child. Those memories have given me a joy and a self-confidence to tackle a life where my worries lie heavily upon my shoulders.”