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Vietnamese Diaspora

Post-Vietnam war, hundreds of thousands of Vietnamese people migrated to the United States in order to escape political persecution and/or pursue the “American Dream”. Using still photography and video, my project will document the experiences of many Vietnamese-Americans, pre, and post-migration to the US. The project will revolve around portraying the stories of the Vietnamese culture and migration as an American story - not an international one.

I was compelled to start this project as an exploratory exercise through photography and videography; on top of this, I am a first-generation Vietnamese-American and wanted to learn more about my family’s history and community. For my project, I will concentrate on the substantial Vietnamese community in Denver - specifically my family’s story. My process will be to utilize photographs and a documentary as a means to encourage sharing life experiences. So far, with this project, I’ve been compiling a three-part documentary and a complete photo collection of my grandparent’s story and their motivations for moving here to America and how that has affected their lives thus far.

My grandparents moved here to the U.S. 25 years ago and have been fostering the family that I’m surrounded by today. Through this project, I’ve learned a lot about our family’s history -from political prosecution in Vietnam to my grandpa dealing with depression over here, I’ve understood my family’s history more than I’ve ever understood before. I hope to be able to continue this project and finish up the documentary when summer comes.