Messages from the Heart: Agent Orange and Narrative Conflict in Contemporary Vietnam
1 online resource (64 pages) : PDF
University of North Carolina at Charlotte
For six months in 2014 the War Remnants Museum in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam hosted a temporary exhibition on Agent Orange. Entitled "Agent Orange: A Message from the Heart," the exhibit’s politically benign narrative tone featured reconciliatory rhetoric and active calls for an altruistic international approach to aiding Vietnamese victims. This exhibit stood in stark contrast to the permanent display on Agent Orange one story above in the same museum, which maintains a decades-old accusatory tone that moralizes resistance, sanctifies victory, and demands penitence from American aggressors. This stark narrative conflict in the War Remnants Museum is a reflection of a broader division in Vietnamese society: between the witnesses to the American War who stake a claim to a particular historical memory of it, and the post-war generations who vocalize increasing apathy toward the war and its relevance to their ideology and national identity. As an institution of knowledge production and the "officialization" of historical memory, the War Remnants Museum leads, reflects, and has become a primary locus of divergent commemorative practices in contemporary Vietnam.
Levy, JanetWayland, CoralShapiro, Aaron
Thesis (M.A.)--University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 2016.
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