Friday, May 31, 2013

Eddie Truong - Week 8

In "Defying and Redefining Vietnamese Diasporic Art and Media as Seen through Chau Huynh's Creations" by Caroline Kieu-Linh Valverde, the author posits that culture production can be observed most prominently through the means and methods of which diasporic art is produced in the Vietnamese community. Valverde utilizes a case study of Chau Huynh, who creates diasporic art that relates to her own experiences with negotiating her identity as a Northern Vietnamese person living in Southern Vietnamese diaspora. In this way, she creates art that reveals the ways in which she views the merging of the two cultures. Her views are controversial, as they reveal a deep political divide within the Vietnamese community, a community that is unwilling to accept any semblance of communist sympathy.

I find that these views are often policed and silenced within the Vietnamese community. While there are strong and legitimate reasons for the knee-jerk reactions toward communism, there should be a productive dialogue that comes from a place of understanding from all members of the community. Instead, we find that there are a core group of Vietnamese elderly elites that police the production of culture in the community. In this way, we observe a culture of terrorism that is replicated and reproduced in order to control the means of Vietnamese diasporic cultural production. Instead of attempting to understand and reconcile differences, we find that these views are shut out and policed, to the point to spreading fear throughout the Vietnamese community. As such, are there ways for us to be self-critical in order to facilitate community dialogue and advance healing wounds within the Vietnamese community?

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