The Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network (DVAN) primary mission is to promote stories from the Vietnamese diaspora. We undertake to support this body of work through literary festivals, local readings, writing retreats, panel discussions, blogs, video and publications. Our goal is to increase understanding about the diversity and complexities of our experiences and imaginaries across national boundaries.
We also 1) support other forms of cultural expressions such as film and visual art, 2) extend ourselves to other ethnic groups with whom we share a history marked by colonialism or/and war, and 3) create programs catered to underprivileged youth.
We define the Vietnamese diaspora as communities of people of Vietnamese origin outside of Vietnam. We take on a diasporic perspective because many of our family members have been pushed out of Vietnam to many parts of the world and it makes sense for us to share stories and engage in dialogues.
DVAN began in 2007 due to the recognition that Vietnamese Americans were underrepresented compared to other Asian Americans in both the academia and popular culture. Until today, less than 50 books and short story collections by and about Vietnamese Americans have been published by nationally recognized publishers. Vietnamese American filmmakers and visual artists are similarly under-represented. Such selective publishing, film and art world practices prevent the society at large from understanding the complex experiences, history and culture of a growing community, as well as recognize the impact the community has had on society. Our vision is that, by coming together as a group across national boundaries, we can bring forth new ideas about identity and citizenship. Ultimately, we aim to be active agent of social change by encouraging self-determination and dialogues for the purpose of healing and full incorporation in the fabric of society.
Ink and Blood
Our initial core members used to be a part of a San Francisco-based organization called Ink and Blood (“Muc va Mau”), which was active from 1994 to 2000. The mission of that organization was to promote the works of Vietnamese American writers, poets and visual artists. DVAN is strongly inspired by Ink and Blood's mission and spirit.
Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network (DVAN) is part of the incubator program at Intersection for the Arts, a not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization.