Episode 64: Documenting Southeast Asian Narratives and Trending Community Issues with Project Yellow Dress


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By Jessica Nguyen. Discovered by Player FM and our community — copyright is owned by the publisher, not Player FM, and audio is streamed directly from their servers. Hit the Subscribe button to track updates in Player FM, or paste the feed URL into other podcast apps.

Julie McConnell sits down with Julia Ha and Tammy Tran from Project Yellow Dress (PYD) to talk about how underrepresented communities are gaining visibility through self-expressed artistic mediums. We start the podcast getting to know the two PYD founders who talk about their family history (fun fact: they are second cousins). Their family experienced a double diaspora having to escape China and Vietnam because of warfare, and as a result, have traveled to many different countries in search of a new place to call home.

We move on to hear about the lightbulb moment when a children's book on the Holocaust inspired them to start PYD. Recognizing how taking ownership of one's history is so crucial for communities who are often overlooked in history textbooks and mainstream media, they created PYD as a platform to encourage silenced individuals to share their stories through whatever medium they desire. This is a community of people who are flipping the script as they do advocacy in their own way. Yes, Asians can be artists. They can be whoever they want to be. It is so important for them to be able to feel like the protagonist of their story, to celebrate the fact that they are a refugee or a child of a refugee, especially in today's political climate.

We close out the podcast with takeaways that touch upon an increasing need for ethnic studies courses. Because learning about people’s history helps us understand one another and ourselves, it is so important to recognize how and where ethnic studies is being taught and improve on that. "Know history, know self. No history, no self."

Project Yellow Dress is a storytelling platform that is dedicated to sharing and highlighting the histories, experiences, and voices of the Southeast Asian diaspora. Website: www.projectyellowdress.com Facebook: @projectyellowdress Instagram: @projectyellowdress Twitter: @projyellowdress

JULIA HA is a Chinese-Vietnamese American from the San Francisco Bay Area, the daughter of Vietnamese Boat People refugees who immigrated to the U.S. in the early 1980s. She received her B.A. from University of California, San Diego (UCSD), where she majored in History: War, Revolution, and Social Change with a special emphasis in Genocide Studies, and graduated with a M.A. Ed. degree in Equity and Social Justice in Education with a focus on Genocide Education from San Francisco State University (SFSU). She currently works as an EOP Advisor at San Francisco State University.

Facebook: @juliathucha Instagram: @jbwahaha

TAMMY TRAN, one of the co-founders of Project Yellow Dress, is a Chinese-Vietnamese American whose parents are Vietnamese Boat Refugees. Through Project Yellow Dress, she’s been able to reconnect with her family's history and get to know more about her parents and community. Aside from Project Yellow Dress, she studied Fine Arts & Art History during both her undergraduate and graduate careers and is currently getting an MILIS in Cultural Heritage Management. She truly enjoys seeking out new narratives that inanimate objects can tell us and believes that it's so important to find ways to preserve people's voices through visual representations.

Summary by Joanne Nguyen

70 episodes