On Remembering: Viet Thanh Nguyen, An-My Lê & Vietnamese American Arts

Viet Thanh Nguyen speaking with host Isabelle Thuy Pelaud and An-My Lê. Photo by William Wendelman

On February 19, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of San Francisco State University’s Third World Liberation Strike, writer Viet Thanh Nguyen and photographer An-My Lê were in conversation about what Vietnamese American art means to their practice. Presented by the Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network (DVAN), SFSU’s Asian American Studies department, and SFSU’s College of Ethnic Studies, the conversation centered on memory and how it infuses into the work by artists of the Vietnamese diaspora.

The MacArthur fellows shared their work and processes, giving the audience a wider understanding of how Vietnamneseness influences their art. Viet Thanh Nguyen is a Pulitzer Prize winner for his New York Times bestseller The Sympathizer. An-My Lê is a Guggenheim fellow and her photography is featured in her two books Small Wars and Events Ashore.

Video by Tony Nguyen


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