Archives par mot-clé : artistes

Thy Phu : Diasporic Vietnamese Family Photographs, Orphan Images, and the Art of Recollection

[ndlr] Signalement d’un article paru dans Trans Asia Photography Review (Volume 5, Issue 1: Photography and Diaspora, Guest Edited by Anthony W. Lee, Fall 2014). Un numéro entièrement dédié à l’étude de la photographie asiatique de plusieurs diasporas. Il explore le travail et les réflexions d’artistes sur la mémoire. Nous remercions Caroline Grillot pour nous avoir signalé cette édition en ligne.

DinhQLe_CrossingTheFartherShore_2014
Dinh Q. Lê, detail from Crossing the Farther Shore, 2014 © Nash Baker and the Rice Gallery, Houston.

Nathalie Huynh Chau Nguyen yearns for a box of photos her family shipped to their temporary home in Japan in 1975, a box that never arrived. The journalist Andrew Lam confesses to the “unforgivable act” of burning his family photos, which reduced three generations to ashes.[1] During her first journey back to Vietnam in thirty years, Kim’s hired car circles the roads of Bien Hoa, a town just south of Saigon, in search of the photo studio where dozens of her portraits were kept, only to learn that the owners have emigrated and no one knows what happened to these old photos. She returns to her home in Ontario, disappointed and bereft.[2]

Such stories of visual yearning are familiar to the Vietnamese diaspora. They are especially poignant for the first wave of refugees, those who fled in 1975, in the immediate aftermath of the fall of Saigon, as well as for the second wave, the “boat people,” whose plight gave rise to the Indochinese humanitarian crisis of the late 1970s to the early 2000s.[3] For these two groups, photos are an often fraught, incomplete record of a painful past.

As they awaited their chance to flee, refugees hid, altered, abandoned, buried, or even burned photos that contained incriminating evidence of collaboration with Americans and loyalty to the defeated Republic of Vietnam. Many of those who fled abandoned compromising pictures in the name of survival. For others, photos that remained intact were left behind to make room for jewelry with which to barter and enough food to keep them going.

Photographs lie at the core of the Vietnamese diaspora, especially for those who struggle to piece together incomplete stories told by images, many of which were defaced, discarded, or destroyed. At the same time, such photos represent a tie to the families left behind, whether as memories of artifacts that no longer exist or as surviving images that evoke layers of memories.

Despite the prominence of these stories of visual longing among diasporic Vietnamese, however, few critics have paid careful attention to them. How has photography — especially family photography — affected this community? This paper explores the function of family images in recent projects by first- and second-wave refugees.

Lire la suite / Read more : Trans Asia Photography Review

« Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock and Roll » [film documentaire]

[ndlr] Un film documentaire de John Pirozzi. A voir.

DontThinkIveForgottenCliquez sur l’image pour accéder au site

During the 60’s and early 70’s as the war in Vietnam threatened its borders, a new music scene emerged in Cambodia that took Western rock and roll and stood it on its head – creating a sound like no other.

Cambodian musicians crafted this sound from the various rock music styles sweeping, America, England and France, adding the unique melodies and hypnotic rhythms of their traditional music. The beautiful singing of their renowned female vocalists became the final touch that made this mix so enticing.

But as Cambodian society – young creative musicians in particular – embraced western culture and flourished under its influence, the rest of the country was rapidly moving to war. On the left, Prince Sihanouk joined forces with the Khmer Rouge and rallied the rural population to take up arms against the government that deposed him. On the right, the Cambodian military, with American military support, waged a war that involved a massive aerial bombing campaign on the countryside. In the end, after winning the civil war, the Khmer Rouge turned their deadly focus to the culture of Cambodia.

After taking over the country on April 17, 1975, the Khmer Rouge began wiping out all traces of modernity and Western influence. Intellectuals, artists and musicians were specifically and systematically targeted and eliminated. Thus began one of the most brutal genocides in history, killing an estimated two million people – a quarter of the Cambodian population.

DON’T THINK I’VE FORGOTTEN: CAMBODIA’S LOST ROCK AND ROLL tracks the twists and turns of Cambodian music as it morphs into rock and roll, blossoms, and is nearly destroyed along with the rest of the country. This documentary film provides a new perspective on a country usually associated with only war and genocide.

The film is a celebration of the incredible music that came from Cambodia and explores how important it is to Cambodian society both past and present.

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[Official Documentary Trailer]