/13 Vietnam

Paolo Patrizi

Ha Noi

A giant archaeological vestige, a relic of the many lives of a magical city, steeped in beauty and seductive charm. Faces aglow, their smiles seem natural and spontaneous, not a forced, mechanical flash of politeness but rather an expression straight from the hearth. Ha Noi is restless, busy, crowded. In the central residential areas ground floor apartments are open to the streets and serve as both living room and workshop. The streets are alive with energy, the alleys are a maze at the hearth of the community. It is the intellectual and artistic capital but it is also a destination for rural migrants seeking a better life from the hopelessness of agricultural life. The rapid change and upheaval which Ha Noi as an urban structure is undergoing today represents perhaps the toughest endurance test in the city’s history.