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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.
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. […]
The current generation of Vietnamese adults is too young to remember the war. On the margins of this shift stands Ninh, author of the country’s most cherished war novel, who not only spoke to the generation that fought the war, but humanised its victims, and in doing so, broke away from Vietnamese officialdom...
"The North is trying to erase the political memory of the South, but those memories remain in the people who took part, in the memories of family members still in Vietnam, and among those who fled to countries such as Australia and the U.S.," Nguyen says. We are slowly losing time with our warriors...