- Penn Vietnamese Student Association (VSA)
- 2021 Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander Artists Support Grant
Penn Vietnamese Student Association (VSA) will produce its first animated annual culture show, Caged Swans, which seeks to tackle Vietnam’s complex history. Inspired by Vietnamese fables, Caged Swans tells a youthful love story that was abruptly ended by the Vietnam War. The narrative follows the couple throughout their separate journeys in the United States and shows how their experiences in Vietnam help them to cope and adapt to the new environment they find themselves in. Fables and folktales are the essence and representation of Vietnamese and Vietnamese American Virtues, which are a cornerstone of the community and its identity. VSA has always showcased serious and relevant issues in their annual culture show, such as the Asian American experience, suicidal struggles, and self-identity. With Caged Swans, and through working with an animator, as supported by this grant, VSA will bring the stories of Vietnamese refugees to light: addressing the tug of war between American and Vietnamese culture and the pain associated with having to assimilate due to anti-Asian violence and racism.