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States of Water: Reimagining Refugee Futures

Sun, Nov 11, 11:00am to 12:15pm, Hilton Atlanta, 4, 406


This paper is a performance-based presentation that explores Vietnamese myths and sites of refuge in order to trace a history of U.S. liberal war, humanitarian aid, and dispossession from the Vietnam/American War to ICE detentions and deportations of Southeast Asian Americans. The performance experiments with the materiality of changing states of water, set alongside archival images of refugee camps and detention centers. It theorizes temporal states of molecular change and the ethics of witnessing as the water––or nuoc translated into Vietnamese, which also means homeland/country/nation––transforms shape, temperature, and opacity.


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