If You Care About Equal Representation in the Arts, Fund This DVAN Project
DVAN (Diasporic Vietnamese Artists Network) needs your support to publish an anthology of Southeast Asian Women in the Diaspora.
DVAN needs to raise $1,500 in the next 25 days to match a grant from a donor who wishes to remain anonymous. With this amount, DVAN will finish financing the high cost of publishing over 60 color images of artworks by Southeast Asian Women in the Diaspora.
So What’s This Anthology About, Anyway?
The Troubling Borders anthology first started when DVAN and four editors (Isabelle Thuy Pelaud, Lan Duong, Mariam Lam and Kathy Nguyen) outreached to the community. They selected and edited without institutional support the best works of women who trace their ancestry to Viet Nam, Cambodia, Laos, Thailand, Indonesia, Burma/Myanmar, the Philippines, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei or East Timor. They also reached out to ethnic minorities from Southeast Asia, naming ethnic Chinese and Indians, the Mien, Hmong, and Cham.
The scope of the manuscript is large and unique. The final manuscript totaled over two hundred pages from sixty-one contributors, mostly based in the United States but also a few from abroad. It has 63 color images of artworks, which is rare for anthologies. The editors regard these images as an integral part of the stories.
These voices and visions are important. Despite their strong presence in our society, Southeast Asians remain underrepresented. Women are even less represented and therefore problems of patriarchy and sexism tend to be overlooked. As it fills this gap, the anthology counters degrading stereotypes of Southeast Asian women as dragon ladies, prostitutes, and “bar girls.” Together, the poems, stories and artworks make visible the enormous ruptures caused by colonization, wars, globalization, and militarization. They reflect upon the ways that women negotiate with the past, form and reform fluid identities, as well as sustain memory and imagination in their present lives.
What You Can Do to Make Sure This Anthology Gets on Bookshelves
DVAN recently received a book contract with University of Washington Press. This will be the first book about Southeast Asian women to be taught in universities in the country. It will inspire, empower and unify future generations of Southeast Asian women American and show the connections between us.
But DVAN is still a little bit short in completely financing the project. That’s why we’re turning to you. If you care about equal representation in the arts, please pitch in our OneVietnam fundraisng page to make sure this anthology happens. Thank you!
Check out a preview of the anthology below:
Troubling Borders is DVAN and the four editors’ gift to the Southeast Asian American community. The goal is to deepen public opinion and understanding about who we are as people from Southeast Asia, while establishing a firm presence in academia. The hope is that this book will inspire future generations of women artists and students to articulate their own voices through essays, poetry, and visual art…and be proud of who we are.