Learning the word diaspora from Effie helped me to extend my research and find out more about the contemporary context of my work.
“The Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network (DVAN) primary mission is to promote stories from the Vietnamese diaspora.” I didn’t realise that there was an organised network of diasporic Vietnamese creators! By connecting and sharing work of Vietnamese and other Southeast Asian diaspora, the organisation is deconstructing the Western stereotypes of the East that exist in literature, film and visual arts. They are also actively encouraging people to explore their cultural identity and feelings towards their heritage in areas that do not have many existing arts programmes that do so.
The fact that one of the aims of my project is to communicate what I have discovered in this personal investigation means that I am also trying to educate the audience. Not in a formal way, and there is no specific message or vital piece of information I want everyone to take away with them. However, by trying to give the audience an insight into what it is like to have dual heritage, I hope that I am improving their understanding on something they know less of themselves, or giving people that are of dual heritage another perspective that could change their perception of their own cultural identity.