May-June 1972: Nguyễn Thanh Châu and Resistance Life in Tiền Giang Province

From May to June 1972, Nguyễn Thanh Châu continued his assignment in Tiền Giang Province, based predominantly around the city of Mỹ Tho. Based there since the beginning of the year, Châu had documented the lives of NLF soldiers and resistance guerrillas in the Mekong Delta’s mangrove forests at the start of the Easter Offensive.

Châu captured a group of women making flags (fig. 1) for the National Liberation Front (NLF) in 1972.

Figure 1: Nguyễn Thanh Châu, 1972, Tiền Giang Province, Mekong Delta. Watercolour on machine-made paper.

In 1972, six months before the Paris Peace Accords were signed the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) forces were trying to occupy larger areas before the agreement was finalised. The two largest divisions of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN) in Mỹ Tho province were the 7th and 9th divisions, which controlled the road from Mỹ Tho to Saigon. Troops from these divisions attempted to encroach into areas under the control of NLF forces to gain an advantage. During this phase, Mỹ Tho was considered a centre of tense warfare.

Outside of Mỹ Tho city, Châu also captured NLF soldiers on lookout duty climbing a tree to observe opposing forces (fig. 2).

Figure 2: Nguyễn Thanh Châu, 1972, Mỹ Tho in the Mekong Delta, “Quan sát (Observing).” Watercolour on machine-made paper.

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