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Literature


Photo: Work by Binh Danh

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Literature


Photo: Work by Binh Danh

Current EventS:

The Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network presents a collective of writers and artists elucidating the Vietnamese “feminine”—as touched by war, history, heritage, mythology, and personal experience. This reading gathers the voices and experiences of female descendants and inheritors of the Vietnam War and its refugee exodus.

July 27th and July 28

The Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center


PAST EVENTS:

27 June, 2017

Viet Thanh Nguyen

American Library in Paris  |  10 rue du Général Camou, 75007 Paris, France

Viet Thanh Nguyen speaks about his Pulitzer Prize-winning debut novel The Sympathizer, and his new short story collection The Refugees, which has a poignant dedication: “For all refugees, everywhere.” Nguyen’s stunning first novel about a spy with dual loyalties to country and himself is profound and beautifully crafted. The particular sorrow of exile and the chance of a better life in another place are themes found in both books. NPR praises The Refugees as “an urgent, won-derful collection that proves that fiction can be more than mere storytelling—it can bear witness to the lives of people who can’t afford to forget.” 

27 May, 2017 

 She Who Has No Master(s) in Paris

American Library in Paris  |  10 rue du Général Camou, 75007 Paris, France

The Library is pleased to present a collective reading and presentation called "She Who Has No Master(s)" showcasing nine women writers of Vietnamese descent, now located in the U.S., Canada and France, who will come together and read from a collective project exploring themes such as displacement, silence, memory and trauma, repercussions of war and colonialism. The writing collective consists of acclaimed and award-winning authors and academics encompassing a range of literary disciplines, including fiction, poetry, nonfiction, performance, and criticism.


October 17, 2015

DVAN at LitCrawl2015

DVAN at LitCrawl2015

In 2015, Dao Strom wrote a mission for a new writers collective of women exploring and pushing the edges of the Vietnamese feminine, a project emergent after we collaborated with Isabelle Thuy Pelaud on a triptych film with a similar concept. After holding a dinnertime salon several months ago, our writers collective She Who Has No Master(s) had our first public reading last night, during LitCrawl, a literary pub crawl extravaganza of LitQuake festival in SF. We shared powerful work with a wide range of tone and genre that reflected the depth and complexity of the Vietnamese feminine, with pieces set in both Viet Nam and the United States. --Julie Thi Underhill

LIT CRAWL 2015

She Who has No Master(s), a collective of writers elucidating the Vietnamese "feminine" as touched by war, history, heritage, mythology, and personal experience.

Featuring: Thao P. Nguyen, Julie Thi Underhill, Bich Minh Nguyen, Aimee Phan, Dao Storm, Angie Chau

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History


History


Today, it is estimated that the Vietnamese diasporic population in the world comprises around 3,000,000 people, with populations ranging from 10 000 in Poland to about 250,000 people in France. The United States remains the country with the largest Vietnamese diasporic population. The 2010 US Census Bureau estimates that more than half of the total Vietnamese diaspora population across the world reside in the United States. The Bay Area (San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont) and San Jose area (San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara) is the home of about 181,410 Vietnamese people. Despite the high concentration of Vietnamese Americans in the larger Bay Area, there are very few cultural events, which address the history and arts of the community.  Until today, less than 50 books and short stories collection by and about Vietnamese Americans have been published by nationally recognized publishers. 

The difficulties in finding recognition and venues for works lead to a disconnect between the artists and their intended audience with profound consequences for both the artists’ productivity and the community’s capacity to rebuild their life in a new land.  The lack of resources such as writer's workshops, publishing venues and events to showcase and exchange works and ideas prevent artists from building meaningful relationships with the community whose experiences serve as a source of inspiration.  The limited access to arts that confront the lingering pain of broken families, communities and social ties as a result of war and migration delay the healing process in the community that could foster positive changes and the relationship to other communities and the society at large.


2014 

Fourth SF VIETNAMESE AMERICAN POETRY

The Fourth SF Vietnamese American Literary Festival will highlight the works of emerging and established diasporic Vietnamese writers, including Anhvu Buchanan (The Disordered, 2013), Kim Thuy (Ru, 2009), Bich Minh Nguyen (Pioneer Girl, 2014). Phong Nguyen (Memory, Sickness and Other Stories, 2011), and writer/performance artist Thao P. Nguyen (Fortunate Daughter.) Our special guest will be filmmaker Masahiro Sugano, who will present a short clip from his film featuring Khmer Exiled Americans on the issue of deportation. The festival is hosted by the Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network, an alliance of artists, writers and academics whose mission is to promote artists from the Vietnamese diaspora who work in literature, visual art, film and performance art. The literary festival is hosted bi­annually since 2008.


2012 

Third SF Vietnamese American Poetry & Art Festival

DVAN and the Asian Pacific Islander Cultural Center (APICC) presented the Third San Francisco Vietnamese American Poetry & Art Festival, a premiere showcase for Vietnamese American writers and artists. The event was scheduled for Saturday, April 28 at the African American Arts and Culture Complex from 7-9 pm.

Hosted by Andrew Lam (NPR commentator), the festival features nationally recognized writers and artists from around the United States. They include spoken word artists Bao Phi (National Poetry Slam finalist), Fong Tran and Sahra Vang Nguyen; legendary poet Nguyen Do with Paul Hoover, and famed writers Andrew Pham (“Catfish and Mandala”) and Aimee Phan (“We Should Never Meet”). Bao Phi read from his new book of poem Song I Sing and Aimee Phan from her new novel The Reeducation of Cherry Truong. The program concluded with a performance by Cai Luong artist Quang Chanh. A reception followed the reading featuring artworks by Binh Danh, Christine Nguyen, Truong Tran, Mai Trinh and Khoi Nguyen.


2010 

Second SF Vietnamese American Poetry Festival

DVAN organized the second San Francisco Vietnamese American Poetry Festival, again as part of the SF International Poetry Festival, in collaboration with the Friends of the San Francisco Public Library (see great pics here). The event took place on April 24 2010 in the Fleet Room of Fort Mason Buidling D. A reception followed at the bookstore in Building C.

Our program included Anh Vu Buchanan, Kim-An Lieberman, Lan Tran, Trinh T. Minh-Ha, Andrew Lam and Dao Strom. Viet Nguyen served as emcee. See the flyer here.

 


2008

First sf Vietnamese Poetry Festival of the Diaspora

DVAN staged its first major event, Vietnamese Poets of the Diaspora, as part of the San Francisco International Poetry Festival. This highly successful event featured poets Mong Lan, Anh Hoa, Bao Phi, lê thi diem thúy, Linh Dinh, and Truong Tran, with DVAN’s Executive Director Isabelle Thuy Pelaud as the master of ceremonies.




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Troubling Borders


Photo: Work by Reanne Estrada

Troubling Borders


Photo: Work by Reanne Estrada

Troubling Borders

An Anthology of Art and Literature by Southeast Asian Women in the Diaspora

EDITED BY ISABELLE THUY PELAUD, LAN DUONG, MARIAM B. LAM, AND KATHY L. NGUYEN

Bronze Book Award in the Association for Borderlands Studies Best Book Award

Pairing image and text, Troubling Borders showcases creative writing and visual artworks by sixty-one women of Vietnamese, Cambodian, Lao, Thai, and Filipino ancestry. The collection features compelling storytelling that troubles the borders of categorization and reflects the multilayered experience of Southeast Asian women.

The diverse voices featured here have been shaped by colonization, wars, globalization, and militarization. For some of these women on the margins of the margin, crafting and showing their work is a bold act in itself. Their provocative and accessible creations tell unique stories, provide a sharp contrast to familiar stereotypes - Southeast Asian women as exotic sex symbols, dragon ladies, prostitutes, and "bar girls"-and serve as entry points for broader discussions on questions of history, memory, and identity.

This book will have a major impact in multiple fields with an intersectional and nuanced evaluation that brings together race, gender, nation, labor, and migration. Timely, productive, provocative, and incontrovertibly interdisciplinary, it will expand the current purview of Southeast Asian/American literary studies.

-Cathy J. Schlund-Vials, author of War, Genocide, and Justice

 

ANIDA YOEU ALI Palimpsest for Generation 1.5 3-channel video installation of original performance and installation in December 2009

ANIDA YOEU ALI
Palimpsest for Generation 1.5
3-channel video installation of original performance and installation in December 2009

Troubling Borders gathers an amazing number of powerful selections of literary writing and visual art. I am struck by how moving, how political, how diverse these selections are. They bear witness to the hauntings of empire and fill gaps in our understanding of the life and imagination of Southeast Asian women. I am awed by this collection.

Nguyen-vo Thu-huong, author of The Ironies of Freedom

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Author Interviews


Photo by Farzana Serang

Author Interviews


Photo by Farzana Serang

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Author Bios


Photo: Work by Trinh Mai

Author Bios


Photo: Work by Trinh Mai