But soon after I started taking pictures and talking to victims and their relatives, I realised I would need to think again about how to do this story.
This is where barrels of Agent Orange were kept in the airport by the US military.
Now, more than 40 years later, the spot is finally being decontaminated.
We kept in touch with VAVA, the main association helping victims, and they gave us much needed information, including the number of victims and where they live.
Throughout the assignment, VAVA and other local officials together with family members confirmed that the health conditions of people we met and photographed are linked to Agent Orange as their parents or grandparents were exposed to it. As the tough man spoke through broken teeth, two of his grandsons in a room behind the kitchen were given milk provided by a government aid agency.
The faces and eyes in the pictures hurt; the focus is there but I may be missing things around, possibly even the story itself.
I wanted to put it all in the context of today’s Vietnam, 42 years on.
The room’s dirty walls suggest anger and some sort of struggle.
She’s been kept in isolation since the age of sixteen because of her aggressiveness and severe mental problems. I took pictures of the poor woman for about 15 minutes.
In yet another village, Le Van Dan, an ex South Vietnamese soldier, wearing a worn-out military jacket of the communists, his former enemy force, told me how he was sprayed directly from the U. Both kids were born severely disabled, doctors say because of Agent Orange.