|Dr Patricia Nguyen is the Director of Undergraduate Studies and Assistant Professor in Asian American Studies and Council for Race and Ethnic Studies at Northwestern University, where she also earned her Ph.D. in Performance Studies. Her research and performance work examine notions of freedom, war, state violence, humanitarian aid, forced migration, intergenerational trauma, and nation building in the United States and Vietnam. She has exhibited and performed at the Nha San Collective, Mission Cultural Center, Jane Addams Hull House, Links Hall, Milwaukee Art Museum, Prague Quadrennial, Museum of Memory, and Human Rights in Chile, and Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Recently, Dr Nguyen became an award-winning memorial designer for the Chicago Torture Justice Memorial Project, the first monument in the United States to honour survivors of police violence.
In this talk, Dr Patricia Nguyen will discuss a selection of her solo and collaborative artistic projects that centre on water, earth, air, and fire as the core materials for her performance research and meditations on war, forced migration, refugees, humanitarian aid, and resettlement. Central to her practice is đất nước, which, translated from Vietnamese means both “land and water” and “country/nation/homeland.” Land and water are significant geopolitical and aesthetic materials that Dr Nguyen experiments with, exploring how their absence/presence to understand the relationship between sustenance, forced migration, and the politics of life/death.