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"I dive into history while recognizing that I am more than a war. / We are our ancestors’ wildest dreams. / We have suffered and continue to, but that doesn’t define us. // What value do my communities have in society? // Who is considered worthy of praise? // What is considered natural or unnatural? // What does utopia look like? // I decide. / We decide."
Mom would also say, “Phung, if you want to, when you turn sixteen, you could have surgery to have your eyes widened and finally get those double eyelids.” … Artist Phung Huynh’s most current work continues to probe the questions of cultural perception and cultural authenticity through images of the Asian female body vis-à-vis plastic surgery.
Sheila Ngoc Pham's essay gives an encompassing look at graphic novels by diasporic Vietnamese comic artists—Thi Bui, GB Tran, Marcelino Truong, Clement Baloup—from different countries: "All of these works span the turbulent last century of Vietnamese history, and are complementary as well as overlapping. Beginning with life under French colonial administration and the struggle for independence, right through to life during the war and thereafter—when we became refugees, migrants, transnationals, travelers."
Thi Bui: "Many of us don’t bother to vote while others cannot vote because laws and bureaucracies have been created to suppress their vote. This is a shaky democracy. But the stakes are so high that we must each do this small thing - show up to the polls, drop off that mail-in ballot, vote as an exercise of the democracy that, while imperfect, still exists."
Filmmaker profile on Vu Pham: "The Horizon is a Scar, My Love is a work of raw truth envisaged from fever dreams, hallucinations, and memories."