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Jan 14, 2020 Journey to Forgivness in Vietnam – In Hanoi
January 14, 2020 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
Friends, We are excited and pleased to undertake this journey to Vietnam. Jan-Feb 2020. This project is supported through www.gracecares.org and part of our on-going B4Peace projects at www.namayaproductions.com.
We have been invited to Vietnam to undertake an Art Residency at the New Space Art Center an art/ writing/ photography residency entitled “Journey to Forgiveness.” With my creative partner Zoe Kopp we will travel at the beginning of January exploring Vietnam and considering the impact of the “War of Independence: American/ Vietnam War” that ended in 1975; however, the affects of the war, both the personal trauma and the on-going ecological impact has continued. There are reported to have been some 400,000 deaths related to Agent Orange, the herbicide that was sprayed in Vietnam during the war that caused horrific damages and to this day there are children born long after the war with birth defects due to Agent Orange (Agent Orange documentation.) There are still unexploded ordinances that cause injuries and fatalities more than forty years after the war. During this Vietnam/ French/ Vietnam War that had continued in one form or another from the 1940s to 1975 it is estimated that two-million Vietnamese were killed. Also, 55,000 French soldiers and 58,222 US American soldiers were killed. Though many Vietnamese seem to say “The war happened a long time ago.” The impact of the war lingers.
The art and multimedia project is “Journey to Forgiveness.” During the first few weeks of January, we will be traveling through Vietnam. During that time we will meet various people who have memories of those years during the Vietnam War – the “war of liberation”. This is a continuation of my writing and art on the subject of forgiveness. At the end of the residency, we would like to offer a presentation in music, poetry, photography, and art on the theme of forgiveness. My wish is that during this brief visit to Vietnam, by working on this theme of forgiveness, I can begin to understand how this process of healing has or has not transpired since the end of the war.
We underscore our goal is to listen and observe with respect and sensitivity to the people of Vietnam. Even though the war officially ended forty-five years ago, the scars and trauma of the war persist. As a US American, I am keenly aware of how the USA has engaged in wars and colonialism over its two hundred year history. The USA’s war in Vietnam and its support for French colonialism is one of the most egregious and shameful episodes in our history
II was a US Navy hospital corpsman 1972-197. I am a poet and multimedia artist. .Though I had no direct experience with combat, living through the war years and subsequently working with Veterans and peace groups has had profound an influence on me. As a result of my two years of service in the Navy, I became a pacifist. I subsequently served in Yemen as a Peace Corps volunteer. I am also a member of Veterans for Peace.
It is my intention upon my return to the USA and Europe to present this art, photography, and writing in public presentations. It is also part of my on-going multiyear work called Pornography of War: The impact of war and militarism in society.
The Tree of Memory and forgiveness is a simple project for people to write some aspect of something they would like to forgive and write it on a small card and attach it to a tree. It could be a photograph, writing or drawing. This work will be anonymous. At the end of the two weeks of the project, it is proposed at the end, the stories, poems, and art is read out loud and then burned. Symbolizing both the witness and the surrendering of memory.
Come join us on this journey of discovery!