The Girl in the Picture: Remembering Vietnam
On June 8, 1972, the South Vietnamese air force dropped napalm on its own troops and civilians after mistaking them for North Vietnamese forces. Nine-year-old Kim Phúc Phan Thi, who was severely injured, was running from the bombed village when an Associated Press photographer captured her and others in one of the most iconic photographs from the Vietnam War, which later won the Pulitzer Prize. Join Kim Phúc, as she discusses her firsthand experience; Mark Bowden, contributing writer for The Atlantic and author of Hue 1968: A Turning Point of the American War in Vietnam; and classical composer and jazz trumpeter Hannibal Lokumbe for a unique discussion on the Vietnam War and its impact. A special performance by Lokumbe will precede the discussion.
This event is presented in conjunction with the world premiere of Hannibal Lokumbe’s “First Breath, Last Sigh: A Journey Called Life” and the tribute performance of “Children of the Fire” in honor of Kim Phuc Phan Thi and presented by The Philadelphia Episcopal Cathedral with the Painted Bride Art Center. Additional information can be found here.
- Mark Bowden is a journalist and author of thirteen books, including Hue 1968, Black Hawk Down, and Killing Pablo. He is a regular contributor to The Atlantic, and a longtime staff writer for The Philadelphia Inquirer. His books have regularly appeared on The New York Times bestseller lists. Black Hawk Down was adapted into an Academy Award-winning motion picture, and three others are currently being adapted into TV series. He spent sixteen years teaching, first at Loyola University in Maryland, and then at The University of Delaware, where he was the writer in residence from 2015-2017. After graduating in 1973, Bowden worked for The Baltimore News-American. He joined the staff of The Philadelphia Inquirer in 1979, where, among other things, he covered science, football, transportation, politics, crime, and did extensive national and international reporting.
- Kim Phuc is the founder of The Kim Foundation International, a non-profit organization committed to funding programs to heal children in war torn areas of the world. In 1997 UNESCO named her a Goodwill Ambassador for Culture of Peace. She is also an Honorary Member of Kingston Rotary, a member of the Advisory Board for the Wheelchair Foundation, The Free Children Foundation and The World Children Centre in Atlanta USA. She has received honorary doctorate degrees York University, Griffith University, Queen’s University, University of Lethbridge, and Saint Mary’s University. She is also the recipient of numerous awards, including the International Peace Prize in Dresden Germany in February 2019.
- Hannibal Lokumbe is a classical composer and jazz trumpeter. Among his many accomplishments, Hannibal has served as The Philadelphia Orchestra’s composer-in-residence. His long history with the Orchestra began in 1997 with a performance of his oratorio African Portraits. Throughout his tenure, Hannibal reached many different communities of Philadelphia through music and dialogue. He hosted a series of Composer’s Umbrella workshops as an outlet for artists of all backgrounds to collaborate and workshop new music. His work has been performed during the Orchestra’s annual free Martin Luther King, Jr., Tribute Concert as well as special chamber performances for various groups around the city, including the Philadelphia Prison System’s Detention Center in Northeast Philadelphia, St. Francis de Sales School, and Christ Church Neighborhood House. His chamber music has also been presented at Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church, the National Museum of American Jewish History, and the African American Museum in Philadelphia.
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