Fresh Food for the Eyes and Feast for the Stomach by Tipakson Manpati
The Mekong River originates in Tibetan plateau and meanders through China, Myanmar, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia before it splits into nine courses in Vietnam’s Mekong Delta then merges with the South China Sea. The so-called River of Nine Dragons or Cửu Long is beneficial to agriculture and the Mekong Delta is today the rice bowl of Vietnam. In 2014, the photographer visited the area and she captured the wet (fresh food) market of Can Tho, the main city of the Mekong Delta. At the market, various and abundant fish and vegetable products could be found reflecting the richness of local resources essential for people’s livelihoods. Unfortunately, the series of dams operating in the upper stretch of the Mekong River in China and in the lower stretch in Laos and climate change are causing a biodiversity catastrophe and affecting food sources in the Mekong Delta. Soon, we may no longer find the same richness if we do not address the environmental destruction!
About the photographers
Tipakson Manpati, known as Saiaew, is as an environment and human rights practitioner. Before, she was a journalist working with a local online media in Chiang Mai, Northern Thailand. Her work focused on impacts of large-scale development projects, human rights, environmental and social issues among others. She also worked with local and regional advocacy groups for sustainable and just development in the Mekong region. She joined SEA Junction in 2018 as to the present.