Editor’s Note: Winter / Light

Only at non-working days, I get to see how beautiful the light is” by storebukkebruse. (Creative Commons, BY 2.0)

2020 has been a particularly difficult year. The COVID-19 pandemic. State-sanctioned police violence—specifically the murder of Black people. The consequences of climate change triggering wildfires in the west and powerful hurricanes in south. A demagogue in the White House who continues to threaten the bedrock of our democracy even after the votes have been counted.

And through it all, we continue to build. We build communities, we make art, we tell stories. Vietnamese and Southeast Asian diasporic culture makers continue to work. We work because what we make is important. Whether by telling stories about our communities or speaking on the issues affecting our lives, Vietnamese and Southeast Asian diasporic culture makers urge us to think differently about the past, the present, and the future. And such reflection has never been more important than now.

As daylight shortens and nightfall comes sooner in the last days of the year—at least here in the Northern Hemisphere—we move forward with hope. We’ll be pausing publication for the next month (from mid-December to mid-January) to take time to reflect on this year and the work ahead of us.

In the meantime, take a look at some highlights from diaCRITICS this year.

Editor in Chief Eric Nguyen’s picks:

Bao Phi reflects on Minneapolis after the killing of George Floyd

Hồn Du Mục gives an insider’s view of what happened in Vietnam during COVID-19

A new poem by Tracey Lien that captures being Asian in Australia

Dao Strom interviews Kaitlin Rees and Nhã Thuyên, founders of the ground-breaking, Vietnam-based AJAR Press

 Z.M. Quynh on what it’s like to be a South Vietnam journalist during the War through the stories of Dương Phục and Vũ Thanh Thủy

Book Pick: Kim-Anh Schreiber’s debut cross-genre novel Fantasy is unlike any book you’ve read this year.

Deputy Editor Amy Lam’s picks:

Land as Memory, Body as Subject: To Call Oneself a Vietnamese Settler” by Y Vy Truong explores what it means to be of the diaspora when it means living on stolen land. 

At the height of this year’s Black Lives Matter protests, Thanh Bui writes on what it means for Asian Americans to truly be in solidarity.

Our diaspora reaches far and wide with Thi Minh Huyen Nguyen on what it was like growing up and into her Vietnamese self in Germany

Vi Khi Nao has the best conversations with artists, and her talk with poet Diana Khoi Nguyen is no exception. 

Tran Tonnu on how VietQ arrived in the world to offer community for Vietnamese queer folks in the Pacific Northwest. 

Conversations with documentary filmmakers Adele Pham, about her film on the history of Vietnamese Americans and nail salons in Nailed It, and Tim Tsai, who directed Seadrift about a small Texan town and the tensions over how to make a living in the gulf. 

Enjoying diaCRITICS? Consider making a small donation to help us continue to publish Vietnamese and Southeast Asian diasporic voices in the year to come!


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