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Vietnamese Londoners at Oh! Gallery

Julia Thanh will be presenting Vietnamese Londoners, an exhibition which aims to raise the profile of the British Vietnamese community within London. The exhibition will feature photographs that Julia has taken herself, 3 spoken word poems, 2 academic talks, all resulting in 1 fantastic night.

One of the key reasons behind this project was that Julia wanted to show how second generation British Vietnamese Londoners balance their dual values and cultures. When Oxford House interviewed Julia we asked her if any of these values were instrumental in creating this project. She replied: “The first value that immediately springs to mind is patience! If I have learnt anything, it is that everything takes time… The other value that has been instrumental in creating this project has been learning to be resilient when things don’t go your way. When I think about what values my parents have taught me, patience and resilience are top of the list.”

The exhibition itself will have 3 components to it. Julia interviewed 17 British Vietnamese Londoners over the span of 17 months and has taken portraiture photographs of them. She explained to Oxford House, the reason for using portraiture photographs is that there is a degree of vulnerability when you take someone’s photo up close. Julia hopes her photos will bring attention and awareness to the diversity of not only Vietnamese people but also South-East Asian people.

The opening night of the exhibition will also feature talks from two senior lecturers in sociology: Dr Tamsin Barber from Oxford Brookes University and Dr Diana Yeh from City University. They will both be giving talks primarily about the invisibility aspect of the British Vietnamese community and the research behind it.

Furthermore, there will also be 3 fantastic spoken word poems by British Vietnamese people, incidentally all 3 of the performers were photographed by Julia. The only way to find out more about the poems themselves is to come and see the opening night!

In the interview with Oxford House, Julia said one thing the project has allowed her to do is to be comfortable and proud of both her nationalities. She does not have to be exclusively Vietnamese or exclusively British, her values and identities can co-exist. This shows just how powerful this project is and why Oxford House is so excited to host such an event and help make London and Bethnal Green an even bigger cohesive community.

Tickets available here.

By Thufayel Ahmed