Trinh T. Minh-ha’s Surname Viet Given Name Nam – Squeaky Wheel Film & Media Art Center

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Trinh T. Minh-ha’s Surname Viet Given Name Nam

December 5, 2023 @ 7:00 pm9:00 pm EST

A still from Trinh T. Minh-ha's Surname Viet Given Name Nam. A mostly dark image, with a barely lit woman with black hair looking to the left of the image.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023, 7 pm ET
@ Journey’s End Refugee Services and online
Free or suggested donation
Tickets available below

An essential work by one of the most influential filmmakers living today, Surname Viet Given Name Nam (108 mins, 1989) is presented as part of the series [Speaking in Foreign Language]. Vietnamese-born Trinh T. Minh-ha’s profoundly personal documentary explores the role of Vietnamese women historically and in contemporary society. Using dance, printed texts, folk poetry and the words and experiences of Vietnamese women in Vietnam—from both North and South—and the United States, Trinh’s film challenges official culture with the voices of women. A theoretically and formally complex work, Surname Viet Given Name Nam  explores the difficulty of translation, and themes of dislocation and exile, critiquing both traditional society and life since the war. Presented with an introduction by curator Ekrem Serdar. Special thank you to Women Make Movies.

For in-person attendees: JERS is located on the fifth floor of Tri-Main Center; head left after you exit the elevator. Please note that you cannot enter Tri-Main Center after 7:30 pm.

For online attendees: Upon check-out, you will receive an email titled “Your Squeaky Wheel Film & Media Art Center order has been received!”. A private link will be included in that email; the event will be available at the link at the start date and time. You will have access to the event for 24 hours; Squeaky Wheel members receive 72 hour access. Not a member yet? Sign up here.

Biography of the filmmaker

Trinh T. Minh-ha is the recipient of numerous awards and grants (including the “Trailblazers” Award at MIPDOC, Cannes; AFI National Independent Filmmaker Maya Deren Award, fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment of the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, the American Film Institute, The Japan Foundation, and the California Arts Council), her films have been given over fifty retrospectives in the US, the UK, Brazil, Canada, Italy, Korea, Spain, the Netherlands, Slovenia, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Japan, India, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Jerusalem, and were exhibited at the international contemporary art exhibition Documenta 11 (2002) in Germany. They have shown widely in the States, in Canada, Senegal, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as in Europe and Asia (including in Italy, Belgium, Spain, Sweden, Finland, Japan, India, Taiwan, Jerusalem, Reassemblage was exhibited at The New York Film Festival (1983) and has toured the country with the Asian American Film Festival among other festivals. Naked Spaces received the Blue Ribbon Award for Best Experimental Feature at the American Int’l. Film Festival and the Golden Athena Award for Best Feature Documentary at the Athens International Film Festival in 1986; it toured nationally and internationally with the 1987 Biennial of the Whitney Museum of American Art. Surname Viet Given Name Nam has received the Merit Award from the Bombay International Film Festival, the Film as Art Award from the Society for the Encouragement of Contemporary Art (SF Museum of Modern Art) and the Blue Ribbon Award at the American Film and Video Festival. Shoot for the Contents won the Jury’s Best Cinematography Award at the 1992 Sundance Film Festival and the Best Feature Documentary Award at the Athens International Film Festival, and toured internationally with the 1993 Biennale of the Whitney Museum. A Tale of Love showed internationally in over twenty-four film festivals, including Berlin and Toronto. The Fourth Dimension (Locarno, Viennale, Edinburg, London) and Night Passage continue to exhibit widely (UK, Austria, Spain, Japan, Korea, Shanghai).

Trinh Minh-ha has traveled and lectured extensively—in the States, as well as in Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand—on film, art, feminism, and cultural politics. She taught at the National Conservatory of Music in Dakar, Senegal (1977-80); at universities such as Cornell, San Francisco State, Smith, and Harvard, Ochanomizu (Tokyo), Ritsumeikan (Kyoto), Dongguk (Seoul); and is Professor of Gender & Women’s Studies and of Rhetoric at the University of California, Berkeley.

Image: A still from Trinh T. Minh-ha’s film, Surname Viet Given Name Nam (1989). A mostly dark image, with a barely lit woman with black hair looking to the left of the image.


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December 5, 2023
7:00 pm– 9:00 pm EST
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Squeaky Wheel
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Journey’s End Refugee Services
2495 Main Street, Suite #530
Buffalo, NY 14214 United States
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