Refugee Camp Burial Sites
“Vietnamese Americans as refugees occupy the position of self-mourners because no one else mourns us.
The accounts of boat people starved, drowned, raped at sea have been our own. We reenact them in plays at commemoration ceremonies, in photo-timelines that we exhibit, in stories that we write.”
-Thu Huong Nguyên-Vo, 2005
This video trailer introduces the story of martial arts master Hoa Tien Nguyen’s return to Southeast Asia to former asylum camps in search of the graves of his wife and two children. Hoa was the lone survivor of a boat journey exodus that began with 75 of his family and friends.
The final film is called, "VIETNAMERICA" and was produced in 2015 by The Vietnamese American Heritage Foundation and Edwards Media and is available at some public libraries. Contact us for more information about where you can access the film.
Almost fifty years later, diasporic Vietnamese continue to visit former Southeast Asian asylum camps to document grave sites and to support the preservation of those sites.
Participants coordinate and organize through online blogs, website and social media platforms.
In the future, this archive will catalog these online sites as well as provide links and finding aides to archives that are preserving the physical artifacts related to the boat people exodus.