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We are Vietnamese. I did not feel at home in my own skin, a banana: yellow on the outside, white on the inside. That is, until I met other Vietnamese Australian artists like Chi Vu who had Vietnamese ancestry and artistic sensibilities.
Isabelle Thuy Pelaud is the co-founder of the Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network. In this intimate interview, she talks to Vi Khi Nao about everything from poetry, to the long echoes of colonial dynamics in France, to her fight for the lowercase 'i' as a form of subversive rebellion, to dreams, to wonderment, to the beauty of anti-theoretical living as learned from her dog Coco.
Nhạc vàng songs are like ghosts living in and out of diaspora, trailing behind Vietnamese veterans, rewinding themselves, back to their country and the struggles of living through destitution and ideological polarization. The political and historical erasures that were never archived in print media were/are re/recorded and re/produced as songs. […]
In January 2019, The Djerassi Resident Artists Program, in partnership with the Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network (DVAN), hosted 12 women and gender-nonconforming writers of the Vietnamese diaspora, to take part in a hybrid literary/art collective project, She Who Has No Master(s). On the last morning, Vi Khi Nao asked each writer to answer a different question for this collection of one-line interviews.
There are two veterans in the family. Father, who wasn’t recognized as one, and my brother, who was born here and served in the U.S. military and is therefore formally recognized as one. The officially recognized veteran receives the benefits of the institution, and he understands that privilege he holds over the unrecognized.
Huế 1968 is nonfiction storytelling at its best—reading like the perfect adventure story… That said, however, I am disappointed, daresay devastated (again…) at the absence of the voices of the Army of the Republic of Vietnam (ARVN), who serve as nothing more than background in a story for which they played a key role. […]
In this excerpt of digital magazine, this is for mẹ, Danny Thien Le revels and reflects in the power of one word to heal, create home, kindle nostalgia and transcend time… Do you remember / the first time you / taught me your name / … / Was I finally a refuge / for the refugee […]
Poems by Anh-Hoa Thi Nguyen. Dear Ba, Sometimes I drive past our old house, looking to see if it still houses all the wounds I endured there. The stifling silence, crowding of needs, the hand-me down desires. I can still hear the hurricane of dishes, your anger howling, the denial of longings. […]
Near the end of last February, I saw an event floating in my FB newsfeed entitled Soap for the dogs x She who has no master(s). It caught my eye because I noticed the names of three Viet women: Vi Khi Nao, Dao Strom, and Stacey Tran. I must go, I must support, were the words running through my head. […]