Tag Archives: photography

Vietnam: Reconciliation at Newton Open Studios, May 14-15

Vietnam: Reconciliation
Images by Dick Simon
Newton Open Studios May 14-15, 2011
Carriage House, 219 Lake Ave., Newton Highlands, MA

The images in Vietnam: Reconciliation explore the kindness, hope, and resiliency of the Vietnamese people that I experienced in northern Vietnam. This series continues my work portraying the untold human stories behind the headlines and sharing personal experiences to help bridge the gap between “us” and “them.”

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They call it the American War, a name that brings to mind a Vietnam filled with pain and hatred for the country that took as many as five million Vietnamese lives forty years ago. Despite a history of conflict with America, during every interaction between our family and the Vietnamese people, I was amazed at their kindness and at the hope and resiliency I observed.

We trekked through the spectacular beauty of the mountains and village markets of a far northern region of Vietnam that until recently was completely closed to foreigners. The compassion and openness the locals demonstrated toward us, virtual strangers in their isolated world, overwhelmed us all.

Visiting local schools and rehabilitation centers for victims of the US Agent Orange defoliation program, which continues to create birth defects and severe disabilities, further confirmed that reconciliation is at the forefront of the country’s collective psyche. This has allowed the people to embrace the changes that invariably stem from long-term redevelopment in the aftermath of an incredible destruction.

My work exploring the amazing capacity of the Vietnamese people to forgive and move on has not only led me to personal and creative insights about this nation, but to explore other conflict-torn regions where in theory both sides “hate” each other so much that they will “never” reconcile.

Syria: Faces of the People at Griffin Museum of Photography

Syria: Faces of the People
Solo Exhibition and Gallery Talk
by Dick Simon
Gallery Talk – 3:00 – 4:30 pm
Sunday, January 9, 2011

Solo Exhibition – January 4 – 12, 2011

Griffin Museum of Photography
67 Shore Rd, Winchester, MA

Whether your interests are photography, the Middle East, travel or hummus and tabouleh, please join Dick Simon for an insightful, illustrated program. Dick will speak about his recent experiences in Syria, show his photographs which depict the beauty of Syria and its people, and hopefully open the hearts and minds of attendees to reconsider how they think about this country that has been labeled a part of the “Axis of Evil.” If you were unable to attend the presentation in November in Newton, we hope this date and location works. If you attended and would like to recommend it to a friend, please forward this invitation.

There will also be a Solo Exhibition of thirty images sharing Dick’s experiences with the people and culture.

Mark Twain said “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry and narrow-mindedness.” With the aim of better understanding the human story behind how Syria is portrayed in the news, Dick Simon and his family travelled there – and what they experienced led them to embrace Twain’s prophetic words. The Syria they saw was not a harsh land with a hostile populace. Instead, they found Syria to be a beautiful country with wonderful people. People who despite the fact that they knew the Simons were from the U.S., a country that has imposed long-lasting embargoes and recalled its Ambassador from Damascus, welcomed them with humanity and warmth. This held true even during an encounter with President Bashar Assad.

Dick Simon has spent much of the past 10 years working with business leaders making a difference through Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), an international network of over 17,000 CEOs in over 100 countries. Much of this work has involved creating small, intimate groups of the top CEOs from both sides of geopolitical and religious conflicts in the Middle East, India/Pakistan and elsewhere to build trust and understanding, and engage in opportunities to bridge conflicts. Dick regularly speaks to groups in YPO throughout the world, as well as to leading educational institutions including Harvard University, Tufts Fletcher School and Berklee College. He received his MBA from Harvard Business School and is a successful entrepreneur and real estate developer. Dick has studied photography at New England School of Photography, Mass College of Art and Design, DeCordova Museum and Maine Media Workshops. (www.dicksimon.com)

A Great Birthday Present!!

Yesterday was my birthday and Patty and I visited the Museum of Fine Arts‘ new Art of the Americas Wing, which is great, saw the Richard Avedon show, which was totally inspiring AND visited The Griffin Museum of Photography. We spent time with Paula Tognarelli, the Executive Director and Curator, which was definitely my highlight!  The collections being shown were wonderful and Paula was SO-O-O-O helpful with insights, advice and support for my work!!!  THANK YOU PAULA!!