Life Life

07/12/2020 - 22:25

Going along the country to “hunt” trash

From the boundless love for his mother, Nguyen Viet Hung, a photographer from Ha Noi city has taken many years to travel, take photos and send messages from the photos of trash to the community.

Nguyen Viet Hung frolicking with children in the coastal region

Going all over the coast

Nguyen Viet Hung shared: “5 years ago, I got the news that my mom had cancer. From finding the causes of the disease, I have gained much more knowledge about plastic waste and its enormous harmful effect on the environment and human health. That was one of the reasons motivating me to make my trip”.

Plastic waste has become humanity’s danger. Depending on each kind, it can take tens, hundreds of years, even thousands of years to get decomposed, in which, Vietnam is in the top 5 of the biggest waste discharging countries all over the world.

That danger is nowhere far away but is right in our daily life, from human habit, etc. So, how to send that message to everybody? Nguyen Viet Hung used his photography skills and talents to make that message a reality.

Baggage for the thousands of kilometer trip to “hunt” trash of Nguyen Viet Hung

It took Nguyen Viet Hung 43 days to go through 39 provinces and cities, including 28 coastal provinces. The terrains and customs of each city and province he has gone through were not the same, however, the similarity was that plastic waste in those places all became his obsession throughout this journey.

His most unforgettable experience was a long beach fully covered with trash in Ninh Thuan. “Although it has acquired a reputation for being a beach, the sand was all blotted out by trash,” said Nguyen Viet Hung.

From that long motorbike trip, in 2019, Nguyen Viet Hung opened an exhibition titled “Save our seas” and launched the book ‘Green Travel Story of the journey to save the sea’.

All images and stories throughout the trip have directed the readers and viewers to a very different viewpoint of the sea (not only the golden sand beaches with shiny green coconuts, or the legend deep blue water surface, where people and the ocean merge into one) that was the obsessional point of view, which was simple but extremely honest about trash and people.

Please, save the sea

The photo of a man eating his breakfast in Kien Giang was an example. Right next to the man who was enjoying a delicious breakfast was untidy trash, mostly plastic waste bobbing on the waves. Maybe, that man was ravenous, or more sadly, he found nothing strange with his surrounding.

Being haunted with the breakfast by trash dune.

On his trip, Nguyen Viet Hung was on his motorbike going along the coastal roads in Hue. Although spending many times visiting the Ancient Capital, this trip was the first time the Hanoian photographer came to the countryside.

He said: “Coming to the beaches in Hue, I still bump into the garbage being directly eliminated into the environment, especially plastic waste. This situation is even more and more stinging in Thuan An fishing port”.

Roaming along thousands of kilometers of the coast, witnessing various stories about trash, he made a straight share: “In my opinion, it’s necessary to set up more dustbins on residential areas and coastal fishing ports. It needs to ensure that garbage collection must be done regularly, even several times a day if needed. Going along with that is the strict punishment, especially in places such as Thuan An fishing port”.

In the long term, from the viewpoint of the “trash-hunting” photographer, educating the sense of environmental protection for future generations plays the most important factor. That is the solution for a peaceful life in coastal residential areas in Hue and many other localities.

Being honored to become the Blue Ocean Ambassador, Nguyen Viet Hung has been implementing the project related to plastic waste. In this long journey, various people gave their hands to help this man; hence, creating the miniature “miracles” in places they passed.

By sharing photos of people, rivers, and beaches wriggling in trash, various places were cleaned up. Used to be the polluted beaches and rivers, now there is no garbage there. Nguyen Viet Hung believed: “Only the new action can make the change. Although collecting garbage is just a simple action, the change will be significant”.

Mai Hue