Photo Book “Hanoi Capital City” Calls for Photographs

Photo Book “Hanoi Capital City” Calls for Photographs


Apartments - Hanoi | Foto: Amy Thibodeau
Apartments – Hanoi | Foto: Amy Thibodeau

Photo Book “Hanoi: Capital City” Calls for photographs
Deadline: 31 Dec 2017 31 Mar 2018

From Goethe Institut:

The Goethe-Institut Hanoi extends an invitation to Hanoians to contribute their photographs to an updated edition of “Hanoi Capital City”, a photo book that visualizes the dynamic development and abundant cultural life of Hanoi.


Hanoi, Vietnam’s capital city, is one of the most beautiful urban sites in Southeast Asia. It was founded in 1010, under the name of “Thang Long”, as the seat of the Vietnamese emperor in the middle of the Red River delta. Through history various influences blended there and today form an inspiring mélange of architecture styles: relics of stately grandeur from the imperial era, lavish tree-lined boulevards from French colonial rule; ostentatious villas in quiet gardens; numerous peaceful pagodas; innumerable buildings representative of the peak of socialist planned economy; and new buildings signaling Đổi mới, growth and the capitalist economy. The City Council has ambitious plans and its goal is to develop Hanoi into a modern and “civilized” metropolis (văn minh đô thị).

Hanoi’s growth and economic development is at a crossroads, though. How can Hanoi position itself as a globally competitive world-class city without giving up its rich cultural and urban-architectural heritage? Further, the city has to live up to the demands of the higher living standards of its citizens; has to cope with the constant migration of the rural population to the city; overcome its massive congestion problems and, not least, provide an attractive location for international investors and knowledge-based industries. The attractiveness of the distinctive visual charms of the inner city to the much-wooed creative classes should not be underestimated. Overall, the challenge for Hanoi is to build on its uniqueness under global competition, rather than sacrificing it and becoming another nondescript global city.

The book will be in English and Vietnamese and includes the following chapters:
1. Hanoi from above
2. Change over Time (timeline photos from the past 25 years)
3. Architecture & Housing
4. People of the City
5. Urban Transport
6. Soul of the City

We are seeking images that reflect traditions, contemporary culture and the identity of Vietnam’s capital city and this call for contributions particularly applies to chapter six: SOUL OF THE CITY. We encourage you to make use of the upcoming golden autumn in Hanoi City!

In addition to the book publication the Goethe-Institut Hanoi will hold a photo exhibition entitled “My Hà Nội” with photos selected for the SOUL OF THE CITY chapter. The book launching event will be for the Frankfurt Book Fair, the exhibition in early October 2018.

Deadline for submission of photos is 31 Dec 2017 31 Mar 2018


We would like to announce that the deadline for photo submissions has been extended till 31 March 2018. Until today, we received a great number of photos and are very happy about the positive response. We would like to extend the deadline for submission with the idea to encourage you to be more experimental in choosing your photo motives and your photo location. We would also like to suggest not only to focus on the city centre only. The books should convey also emerging new life-styles for example at the western parts of Hanoi, which became administrative part of the city just ten years ago. Or think of the traditional handicraft villages and the traditional connection between the city and the surrounding countryside. Last but not least, Hanoi’s increasing street-art may be worth to be documented. Please disseminate the call for contributions in your personal network of friends and family. This project shall document the indigenous perspective of Hanoi citizens of their capital city and should reach as many people as possible.

Thank you so much and warm wishes,

Yours truly,

Michael Waibel
– Book editor and exhibition curator –

Contact of the editor: [email protected]


This is a non-profit project, therefore we cannot pay a honorarium. However, contributors selected for publication will get space in the book to be introduced with a short note about them and a free copy of the photo book.


Contributors maintain the copyright of their photos. All photos will be properly credited with your name in the book, on the website for the book and if used on social media.


Contributors should provide a 100-150 word note about themselves that will be included in in the publication in English and in Vietnamese.


Please initially submit your photos as low-resolution files. If selected, you will be requested to provide high-resolution files via an internet download platform, such as Dropbox or Wetransfer.

The objective of the photo book is to relate an authenticity of the natural colors found in Hanoi therefore the editor recommends to not over-do the picture saturation or brilliance of photos with software applications such as Adobe Photoshop.

Further information about the publications, the editor, technical specifications, copyright information and some sample pages for inspiration can be downloaded from here.


Michael Waibel is the editor of the photo books on Hanoi, Dan Nang and Ho Chi Minh City. He is an urban geographer and project leader at the University of Hamburg, Germany. Over the past 20 years he has spent time in Vietnam and observed with admiration the people and country as it develops.

Previous publications by Michael Waibel developed in close cooperation with Goethe-Institut Vietnam include: “TP. Hồ Chí Minh: MEGA City” published (2014, 2nd edition 2015, 3rd edition 2016), “Hà Nội: CAPITAL City” (winner of the „Bùi Xuân Phái: Vì tình yêu Hà Nội“-Award in 2015) and “Đà Nẵng: COASTAL City” (2016).

For more information about works by Michael Waibel:


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