ONE TAKE/ TAKE ONE
- Vy Trinh
- Weitzman School of Design (PennDesign)
Student Creative Production Grant
Vy Trịnh will produce ONE TAKE/TAKE ONE, an ethnographic project that takes place in the Thu Thiem peninsula, a new construction zone across the Saigon River from the center of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam, following the traffic of materiality, labor, and agency of metal scavengers. Due to the mass rise in unemployment during Covid-19, many workers (who are often migrants from other provinces along the Mekong Delta) have lost their jobs due to employment shortages and/or restricted mobility across different zones in the city and cannot go back to their hometowns. This has resulted in many forms of make-shift temporary jobs around different construction zones in the city. Vy will follow the everyday life of workers who work as metal sellers around local scrapyard businesses in the area. One such worker sources metal scraps buried below construction sites with his metal detector and sells these to local yards as his daily earnings. Vy plans to visit the site in person, engage in conversations, observe, and commit to work with these workers as interlocutors on their work days. She wants to follow the traffic of materiality, different forms of labor (manual, physical, artistic), and agency (capital, survival, economic, artistic, ethical). In doing so, Vy wants to navigate the tensions and suspensions between these categories and ethnographically explore questions of labor and agency in a time of precarity and uncertainty, while retaining an emphasis on the specificity of Vietnam’s place in the Global South in the time of COVID-19.