Rarely seen photographs take center stage for the Hoover Library & Archives’ new exhibition We Shot the War: Overseas Weekly in Vietnam. Exploring the interrelationships between art, journalism, and politics, the exhibition features photographs submitted to the Overseas Weekly’s Pacific edition–a military tabloid at once beloved by troops and reviled by the Pentagon for its controversial content.
The Vietnam War occurred in a period of dramatic political, social, and cultural upheaval. The harrowing images that emerged from this era have shaped public opinion, have left indelible imprints on the American psyche, and continue to rivet viewers today. This exhibition adds new material to the canon, presenting intimate images of soldiers and civilians taken by photojournalists who immersed themselves in the daily life of the war-torn nation. The photographs reveal the gritty realism of combat alongside sanguine moments of hope and humanity in fresh and unfamiliar ways, strengthening our understanding of the realities of wartime. These rare photographs—spanning 1966 to 1972—emerge from a vast collection of 20,000 film negatives acquired by the Hoover Archives in 2014. A publication featuring select essays by the Overseas Weekly reporters and photographs from the collection will be published by Hoover Press in Summer 2018.