We are an Evolving Story.
We are an evolving story
With our country subsumed and the Viet Hoa people and artifacts scattered all over the globe, our greatest and most abundant resource are our people’s stories and anecdotes about their past lives, journeys, and re-establishment in new homes. By collecting these individual accounts, we paint the larger picture of the Vietnamese people’s exodus through truly personal experiences - voices that are largely missing in North American media as a whole.
These stories are overdue to be told because they are the oral history of an entirely new culture that is still evolving and changing. Here in Canada, what it means to be Vietnamese, specifically what it means to be Vietnamese-Canadian, is a question that we need to start asking on a higher level and as a people. It is a discussion that starts in our own homes, by encouraging more inter-generational dialogue. As refugees and immigrants, there is a constant worry of losing our history due to assimilation, yet there is a lack of structures in place in order to encourage the preservation of culture through storytelling and sharing.
The Refugee's Archive is a project is designed to address this. We are creating a collection of oral history that document the struggles and journeys of the displaced Vietnamese people. Here, we crowd source stories directly from the community, and curate them for the general public.
The Archive acts as more than just a record. It is something that helps us transcend the generational gap. It is a modern platform to share our stories with all of Canada. Our stories are the backbone on which our culture can keep building.
" ... to become a refugee is to deny despair, it's an unwillingness to accept that you're over and you're done. I think people become refugees because they're not willing to despair of their lives and their futures, and most of all, they're not prepared to sacrifice their families."
— Brian Buckley, author of 'The Gift of Freedom: How Ottawa Welcomed the Vietnamese, Cambodian and Laotian Refugees'