This versatile and perfectly compiled collection of color photos depicting the North Vietnam from 1914 to 1917 was taken by Albert Khan, a French banker, and philanthropist, known for initiating The Archives of the Planet, a vast photographical project. Spanning 22 years, it resulted in a collection of 72,000 colour photographs and 183,000 meters of film.
In 1909, Kahn traveled with his chauffeur and photographer, Alfred Dutertre to Japan on business and returned with many photographs of the journey. This prompted him to begin a project collecting a photographic record of the entire Earth. He appointed Jean Brunhes as the project director and sent photographers to every continent to record images of the planet using the first practical medium for color photography, Autochrome plates, and early cinematography. Between 1909 and 1931 they collected 72,000 color photographs and 183,000 meters of film. These form a unique historical record of 50 countries, known as The Archives of the Planet.
Kahn’s photographers began documenting France in 1914, just days before the outbreak of World War I, and by liaising with the military managed to record both the devastation of war, and the struggle to continue everyday life and agricultural work.
The bellow photos depict Vietnam at the outbreak of First World War, that time Vietnam was a part of French Indochina. While seeking to maximize the use of Indochina’s natural resources and manpower to fight the war, France cracked down all patriotic movements in Vietnam. The country remained a member of the French Empire, and many Vietnamese fought later in World War I.