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The Missing Piece Project calls for a collective intervention at the Wall by Vietnamese, Cambodians, Laotians, and other refugee community members still affected today by the legacy of American militarism and imperialism in Southeast Asia. This project envisions a nationwide, coordinated, mass dedication of items at the Wall by refugee community members on the upcoming April 30 anniversary in 2020.
Vanguard Zine brought together and highlighted the work of LGBTQ Vietnamese artists living in the U.S., Europe, Australia, and Vietnam. Now they're reflecting on the past five years of their work with a retrospective exhibit in Dorchester, Massachusetts—home to one of the largest diasporic Vietnamese communities.The Vanguard exhibit will be on display at Dorchester Art Project from April 26 to May 19, 2019.
I used to dream of a simpler time, a Vietnam of thatch roof huts and banana leaves and lotus flowers. But this Vietnam only exists in my imagination. We must not romanticise a past that never was, or choose only to remember the innocence of our history. Spoiler alert: Nobody’s history is innocent. We must be brave enough to claim it all. People like me, who by today’s standards are referred to as 'people of colour' or 'minority groups', belong to histories which are not only as tremendous, as grand, and as civilised as the Europeans, but as brutal.
In March 2019, in New York City, a dozen writers of the Vietnamese diaspora gathered together to discuss community, the ghosts in their words, and what they're fighting for with their art.
And yet: I encounter discomfiting truths here, within and outside of myself. How I have for years longed to come back, felt some piece of me missing for not reckoning with the Vietnam that was left behind, and then to come back and have to admit the ways I still feel I do not belong.
Chi Vu is a Vietnamese Australian writer and director, and her award-winning works span genres such as the postcolonial gothic, horror and magic-realism. Her most recent work, Coloured Aliens, is a critically acclaimed comedy about an interracial couple navigating their romance in the context of racism. Mai Nguyen, an Asian Australian playwright, soon discovers that 'White Australia' only wants her to write the 'ethnic' play. Her Anglo Australian boyfriend Kevin O'Sullivan is a security guard and ex-spoken word artist on hand to provide support - and advice.
I have tried on a few occasions to write “Dear Mẹ” poems, but I do think that since she is still living that it is harder to be as honest and vulnerable. I think I am afraid to ask her the things I need to, I’m not sure why, and maybe it has to do with my lack of fluency in Vietnamese, and the lack of nuanced language one needs for these types of deep and challenging conversations.
Artist and educator Phung Huynh was introduced to Rocky Rivera’s music when she heard her guest feature in Ruby Ibarra’s song, Us. Moved by the song’s themes about sisterhood, empowerment and transforming the challenges of the immigrant experience, colonialism, and cultural assimilation, Phung played the song over and over again in her car.