Vietnamese Focus: Generation of Stories

Linda Vo
Asian American Studies
UC Irvine

Viet Stories: Vietnamese American Oral History Project (Viet Stories) partnered with different institutions to travel a revised and expanded version of its exhibition, VIETNAMESE FOCUS: Generations of Stories, which chronicles the history and diversity of the Vietnamese American community over the span of 40 years, as well as developing a companion webpage that can be integrated into academic curriculum. This travel series brought the Vietnamese American experience to different cities around the country using photographs, documents, ephemera, artworks, and oral histories from digital archives and the UCI Libraries Orange County & Southeast Asian Archive Center. The first two sites will be the Heritage Museum of Orange County in Santa Ana, California (2017) and the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in Yorba Linda, California (2018). This exhibition was part of a larger research initiative that investigated how giving a platform for refugees to tell their own stories can disrupt common narratives of war and displacement. By presenting this exhibition with these inquiries in mind, the project critically engaged historical scholarship on refugees and immigrants and reshaped public perceptions and understandings of refugee and immigrant communities around the country.