Vietnam Laos
Journey to Forgiveness

What is forgiveness? After war or trauma, how do people people heal and take the journey to forgiveness? Journey to Forgiveness in Vietnam seeks to explore and understand the journey to forgiveness and reconciliation both by Vietnamese, Americans, and others affected by the war.  Namaya, a US Veteran with the B4 Peace Art Team needs your support to continue their work of educating people and facilitating healing after war, so that there can be a peaceful future.

JOURNEY OF FORGIVENESS by Namaya and the B4 Peace Team
AGENT ORANGE: DO NOT FORGET ME

Namaya and Zoe Kopp in front of the War Remnant Museum, Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam)

Agent Orange: Do Not Forget Me, a sculpture created by Namaya, will be installed at the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, in late 2021. At the beginning of 2020, Namaya and Zoe Kopp began the Journey to Forgiveness art residency project and traveled throughout Vietnam.

“In our two-month journey from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, we discovered an extraordinarily kind and generous people and a beautiful country; however, a landscape and people still scarred by the War of Independence (the Vietnam War). We quickly discarded old assumptions and come to see this extraordinary and complex country with a fresh perspective. Our goal was to listen and to understand the impact of the war more than fifty years ago. In particular, the devastating effects of Agent Orange, a deadly herbicide sprayed by the American military, that has caused over 400,000 deaths and millions of people who are still affected by this.”

From this journey, Namaya and the B4 Peace team are now creating the project Agent Orange: Do Not Forget Me. This work is part of the multiyear art project Pornography of War by Namaya, which educates people about the cost and ongoing horrors of war.

During their travels, the B4 Peace team was impressed by the work of many people who have sought to remediate the damage caused by the war. Chuck Searcy, a US Veteran, and others have helped launch Project RENEW in Quang Tri Province to clean up unexploded ordnance and provide medical assistance, rehabilitation, and income generation for UXO victims Land Mine Assistance.

 

Friendship Village cares for individuals harmed by AO; however, there are still tens of thousands of people affected by this poison who need assistance.

You can help us educate people!

We created this video to inform the public about the harm that Agent Orange has caused. This program was recently presented at the Veterans for Peace Conference 2020.

Agent Orange Educational Video

Please watch this video and share it on your social media! Namaya and the B4 Peace team are available to you and your organizations to lead discussions on Agent Orange and the Journey to Forgiveness: Vietnam. Please contact b4peace@namayaproductions.com for more information and ask to be put on our news updates.

Three million Vietnamese and 2.6 million US Veterans suffer from the effects of Agent Orange.

Could you help us make a difference?

Namaya and the B4 Peace Team, with the support of GRACE Cares, is committed, with your help, to accelerate the reparations for Vietnam between now and 2025, the 50th anniversary of the end of the war.

Agent Orange: Do Not Forget Me Goals

 

  • Install the sculpture at the War Remnant Museum in Vietnam and hopefully in the USA in 2021.
  • Provide educational events around the USA on Agent Orange.
  • Increase social media attention to Agent Orange in the US and Vietnam.

 

The sculpture, video, and media campaign seek to raise awareness about the extent of the damage and the necessity of remediation by the US Government. We will highlight the current work taking place in Vietnam by host country nationals, internationals, and US veterans to remove Agent Orange contamination; and showcase the work being done by the orphanages and centers for children impacted by Agent Orange. We hope to foster a space for meaningful dialogue about the repercussions of Agent Orange and the lack of awareness around the world, especially in the USA. Our 2020 goal for this information campaign and multiple art installations is $25,000.

I am the Vietnam Generation:
Generation of Witness:

1. Prelude:

Rage! Sing the rage
for the innocents.
Rage! Sing the rage
and call for atonement.
As rage dissolves
to contrition
and leads us home
to love.

The Dharma is not war,
it is the journey home to love.
Dharmapada, the path to true Dharma,
to give
to surrender
to love

2. Shroud of War: Invocation
I do not want to be called
a Baby Boomer.
I am the Vietnam generation.
I am the generation
of witness and fire.

I was a hospital corpsman during Vietnam
and though I was far from combat,
the war haunts
me and my generation.

This war of decades ago,
and unending wars
of the American war machine,
shrouds my waking hours.

3. Vietnam: Fire. Redemption. Love.

I am the Vietnam Generation.

I hold the memory of two million
Vietnamese children, men, and women
killed during the War of Liberation.

I hold the memory
of 58,229 dead Americans
and 55,000 French soldiers killed.
Not killed for patriotism.
Not killed to save a nation.
Killed for the Military-Industrial insanity.

I hold the memory of the
millions of wounded soldiers and children
maimed with bombs and Agent Orange.

How have we paid recompense for the
400,000 Vietnamese killed by Agent Orange?

How have we remediated the
the land destroyed by bombs
and Agent Orange?

How many generations
will it take to heal this land?

Is there a salve that can
soothe the scars of napalm bombs?
Is there a salve that will heal the
skin of those burned with phosphorous?

How do we Americans
care for the thousands of deformed
children born today?

When will there be contrition?
How have we atoned for our deeds?

How will we atone for
My Lai and the unknown massacres?

How will we care for the people and land
destroyed by the sin and evil of war?

While the chairman of Dow Chemical
Carl A. Gerstacker
played golf on immaculate green lawns;

While Dow chemical’s napalm
incinerated Vietnam
and burned people alive:

While Monsanto gained fortunes for
its stockholders with the poison Agent Orange:

While the war profiteers made their
poisons and guns to destroy Vietnam,
and proclaimed the greatness of the USA.

While Nixon scuttled a peace deal in 1968
so he could get elected.
While McNamara formulated the calculus of war.
Johnson, Kennedy, Kissinger, and all stoked the machine
of death. They were the architects of monumental hubris.

While those safe in draft deferments,
protested the war:
While the poor and working-class soldiers
were sucked into the vortex of conscription.

I want to hold the hundreds of thousands
of wounded and homeless veterans.
Now huddled in the streets.

I don’t want us known as
The Woodstock generation
with its ephemera of peace and love.
I want us to hold in our bones
the imperative of peace and contrition.

Vietnam Generation May2020 – Namaya 6
Do we have the courage to bend
down on our knees in
supplication?

4. Noble Saints of Peace
And to you, the noble saints of peace,
who came to Vietnam and cared for the children.
To the warriors of the higher conscience,
who refused to march off to war.
To the soldiers who returned and now
are working for justice in Vietnam.

To those who chose prison over war.
To those who fled family and home to protest.

The courageous monks, driven mad with pain,
burned themselves alive to stop war.

The students at Kent State shot dead by
soldiers while they protested against war.

Your acts of resistance and love
shines with fearless courage.

5. Witness: Cambodia
I journeyed to Cambodia,

where the genocide and killing fields
were fostered by the American war machine.

Twenty-five percent of
Cambodians killed.
The soul of a nation
shredded by genocide.

Children born after
the Americans went safely home
Vietnam Generation May2020 – Namaya 8
are still maimed and killed by landmines.
Children in wheel-chairs begging.
Eyes famished for hope and asked us,
“Please, help.”

Where is our contrition?
How is their forgiveness?
Where is our mercy and justice?

The killing fields and landmines
are underfoot as I walk through the Mekong.

Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam
are littered with landmines and Agent Orange.

Landmines dropped by B-52s
in a rain of evil, blacker than evil itself.

Where is the shame
that should burn in our soul?
Where is the repentance?

Where is our courage to end all war?

6. Laos
Beautiful innocent Laos. Nestled
in the mountains, ancient Buddhist land,
now infested with landmines that
destroy and maim children decades after the war.

Today, I walk through the fields.
Our guides point us to the right
path, but there are no signs, no guideposts
to the landmines strewn by the Americans.

The US Military indiscriminately
bombed and poisoned
Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia.

Today, I met the children at the hospital,
their legs blown off by landmines,
and cluster bombs dropped fifty years ago.

How are we humbled and shamed by our deeds?
When will we bend to our knees

to ask forgiveness?

7. The US Military-Industrial Machine
We, the Vietnam generation,
have we grown complacent
waddling to retirement
and investing in the war machine?

Panama, Grenada, Iraq, Yemen,
Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the
necklace of our war machine
is made from the skulls of children.

We have raped, ravaged and
looted countries around the globe.

Our trillion dollar platinum plated
war machine is lacquered with
the blood and bones of its victims.
When will we fight the real war?

The war against poverty?
Our war to save the environment?
When we will
end the desire for war?

We, the Woodstock generation,
born in the shadows and fire of war.
We saw the nightly news
with the daily tallies of death,
while our brothers and kin
we’re sent over for a war of lies.
What of the greater love?

Contrition?
Humility?
Atonement?

I don’t want to be called
the baby boomer
or Woodstock generation.
I am the Vietnam generation.
I am the generation of witness.

Dwight Eisenhower said,
we are crucified on a cross of iron.
He warned of the Military-Industrial machine:
Yet, he fostered the war in Vietnam.

8. Tune in!
Tune in!
Turn on!
Drop out!

My soul is no longer on ice.

I burn with the shame
Of our wars!
I burn with the shame
Of our deeds.
Our shame should burn as bright
as the phosphorous bombs
that we dropped in Vietnam

I burn with rage!
I burn with this shame!

I don’t want to be
remembered for the delusions
of pot and drugs, turn on,
tune in, drop out, the fog
of forgetting.

I need us to be the
generation of remembering.
The generation
of witness and contrition.

We were born in the fire of
Nagasaki and Hiroshima, in the ashes of
the Korean War and the inextricable
nightmare of Vietnam.

9. Dharmapada– the path to contrition
Can we be the generation
of redemption and contrition?
Can we be the generation of peace?

I don’t want to be called
a baby boomer.
I am the Vietnam generation.

I am of the generation
of Witness.

How will our actions of
true peace, forgiveness, and justice.

Render healing?

How will we be
the generation of contrition?

“If you are offended by my art and writing about war, then do not participate and pay for war.”

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Namaya, a US Veteran with the B4 Peace Art Team needs your support to continue their work of educating people and facilitating healing after war, so that there can be a peaceful future.