A Keynote Event for Displaced. Detained. Undeterred: A Critical/Creative Symposium
In this keynote, speakers Evyn Lê Espiritu Gandhi and Yến Lê Espiritu offered an intergenerational remembrance of Đại Tá [Colonel] HồNgọc Cẩn,our cậu hai [oldest maternal uncle] and ông hai[oldest granduncle] respectively, an Army of the Republic of Vietnam officer who was publicly executed by a Communist firing squad. This remembrance was a portal to a discussion on refugee grief, not as a private or depoliticized sentiment but as a resource for enacting a politics that confronts the conditions under which certain lives are considered more grievable than others. Focusing on quotidian memory places, particularly Internet memorials constructed by the Vietnamese diasporic community, they discussed how and why South Vietnam’s war dead have become so central to the refugees’ retellings of South Vietnamese losses in the United States. At the same time, they pointed out that these commemoration efforts can and do lead to harsh and unrelenting attacks against the living, especially those who harbor more critical visions of the diasporic community.
The recording can be viewed at Cornell Video on Demand.