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Vietnamese American Woman Won MacArthur Fellowship

Posted: Oct 02, 2012

 Photographer An-My Lê wins MacArthur Fellowship. The MacArthur Fellowship recognized 23 individuals in this annual grant program. Other arts and culture fellows include the photographer, Uta Barth, and writers Junot Diaz and Dinaw Mengestu. Here's the complete list.


An-My Lê was born in Saigon, Vietnam, in 1960. She fled Vietnam with her family in 1975 and eventually came to the United States. Her work is stunning for its attention to the transformation of natural landscapes violently transformed into battlefields. Projects such as her "29 Palms" (2003-2004) capture the re-enacted of a virtual Middle East war in the California desert. As PBS notes in its profile of Lê:

Suspended between the formal traditions of documentary and staged photography, Lê’s work explores the disjunction between wars as historical events and the ubiquitous representation of war in contemporary entertainment, politics, and collective consciousness.

As the MacArthur Foundation website notes, in her current work, Lê continues to document instances of staged warfare, highlighting how "landscapes transformed by war and other forms of military activity blur the boundaries between fact and fiction."

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