It’s been a while since I’ve been down to Long Bien Bridge. I started work on a personal project there a few months back (HERE), mostly kind of revolving around the farmers and pollution in the area, but recently I’ve been a bit too busy to spend any time on it. Work, life and travel have all combined to keep me away. But I found myself with a little time today, so I took a short ride and an even shorter walk to the middle of the bridge and back. The two photographs above are pretty much all I shot, but it felt good just to be there, without an assignment, with nothing else to do.
For those outside of the capital, Long Bien Bridge is one of Hanoi’s most famous landmarks. It was built in 1903, survived French colonization and the American War and has since become a symbol of national pride and unity. But it’s also something of a neglected icon. The fields beneath the structure and the nearby Red River are in danger of over-pollution, and farmers working in the area are finding it harder and harder to make a living from the once fertile lands.
I’m excited to work more on this project once life settles back down again. With the upcoming 1000-year anniversary of the capital and the country’s rapid growth and whole-hearted acceptance of many global trends, I think the farmers’ stories from Long Bien Bridge will be more important than ever. Not everyone is a new millionaire here; some people still live on $35 a month.
For some more great work from Long Bien Bridge, check out Jamie Maxton-Graham’s Flickr Gallery. It’s off whatever hook you put it on.