There are now more than 2 million Vietnamese exiles living abroad. Once considered as traitors by the Vietnamese government, those who left were largely ignored by their new countries of residence.
Clément Baloup, a cartoonist of Vietnamese and French heritage, explores this mass migration in his graphic narratives. He will speak about his work with a talk titled Drawing: An Act of Resistance at 7 p.m. Wednesday, March 18, in Stevenson Hall, room 101 at Illinois State University.
A corresponding exhibit detailing Baloup’s work will be on display at Milner Library in mid-March. The exhibit is being coordinated with the help of Professor of Art History Justin Wadlow of the University of Picardie-Jules Verne (France) and the National University of Vietnam in Hanoi. Wadlow will talk about Baloup’s work before the March 18 lecture with a talk titled Clément Baloup: Shape and Colors of Exile.
The event is free and open to the public. Sponsored by the Sage Foundation, Milner Library, MECCPAC, a Dean of Students Diversity Initiative; and the Departments of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures; History; and English, Baloup’s talk is part of the Speaker Series at Illinois State University.
Baloup has published several graphic narratives devoted to Vietnamese and other groups in France and elsewhere from the colonial period to the present, including Le chemin de Tuan (Tuan’s Way) and Le choix de Hai (Hai’s Choice). He has authored two biographical works, Quitter Saigon: Mémoires de Viet Kieu (Leaving Saigon: Memories of Viet Kieu) and Little Saigon: Mémoires de Viet Kieu (2012), which respectively tell the stories of Vietnamese emigrants to France and the United States.
With his graphic novels, Clément Baloup has started recording the experiences and memories of these different migrations and gives a visual presentation to the life histories of those overseas Vietnamese living in Europe, the U.S. and Asia.
The Speaker Series of Illinois State University seeks to bring innovative and enlightening speakers to the campus with the aim of providing the community with a platform to foster dialogue, cultivate enriching ideas, and continue an appreciation of learning as an active and lifelong process.