Nga Tran, CHANGE/ Vietnam

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For centuries, human beings have been trying our best to make life more convenient and comfortable through plenty of technological developments and breakthroughs. However, some of those inventions actually come back to hurt mankind in the long run, such as generating energy from coal.

Following the photo project “I Can’t”, by CHANGE/ Vietnam, featuring eight acclaimed artists with their life and dream being interfered with by severe pollution last week, two more photo albums – family and everyday life version (the park, the Tan Huong market, and the Vinh Tan coal-fired power plant in Binh Thuan province) – were published on April 6, 2016. The difference between these and the one with artists is possibly its relatability.

Five families with five different stories are featured in the family version of “I Can’t” photo project. Simple, yet uneasy concerns and worries are expressed artistically in each photo such as: a newlywed couple fearing they might forget each other’s face for wearing gas masks all the time; parents worrying about the future of their child as the pollution gets worse; a married couple not being able to express their love for each other; a father concerning about the polluted air his child breathing. The grey and dark color theme of the photos leaves a haunting impression of what life would be like if people stayed silent as air pollution reached an alarming rate.

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The everyday life version is just as powerful as the family version since it shows just how frustrating and inconvenient life could be if you had to wear the gas mask day in, day out no matter where you might be: at a park, a market or even at a controversial location such as Vinh Tan coal-fired power plant.

These two photo albums are powerful because each photo is relatable and speaks to audience. Is it really worth it living behind gas masks? “Don’t let pollution destroy your life” is the message “I Can’t” campaign wants to deliver to the public. Air pollution is looming over major cities of Vietnam, such as Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. You can barely see any clouds in the sky now that is how terrifying pollution is. Hopefully, with this campaign, and these two photo albums in particular, more Vietnamese people will become aware of the devastating and horrible consequences pollution can bring upon their lives if they stepped back and let it happen without letting their voice heard on the matter.


Please visit website or for more information about this campaign.