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You searched for: Political Geography Vietnam Remove constraint Political Geography: Vietnam Journal Journal of International Affairs Remove constraint Journal: Journal of International Affairs Topic Development Remove constraint Topic: Development
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  • Author: Samantha Libby
  • Publication Date: 09-2011
  • Content Type: Journal Article
  • Journal: Journal of International Affairs
  • Institution: School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University
  • Abstract: Vietnam now participates in a capitalist market and keeps its borders open, but it still imposes a dated yet effective communist matrix of control over the country's media outlets. This article examines the effectiveness of this system of control with respect to visual art. I find that contemporary art in particular is able to communicate—and express frustrations with—the tensions between rapid economic development and political stagnation, and between cultural traditionalism and modernization. Art can speak with relative impunity because its meaning is more difficult to pinpoint than written criticism of the regime. However, it is important to note that few, if any, Vietnamese artists advocate a change of regime. Instead, they emphasize their concerns about tensions in society caused by rapid development and its effect on centuries-old traditions. The current one-party regime certainly contributes to this tension, but it would be an oversimplification to call these artists “protest artists”; rather, they act as a lens through which both Vietnamese citizens and outsiders get an honest and unbiased view of a country that is too often thought of in terms of colonialism or war.
  • Topic: Development, War
  • Political Geography: Vietnam