Dream Vision Goal Plan

Project Development Studio

13 Feb 2019

Vietnam War Refugee Project


My dream is to collect, preserve and share stories of refugees from Vietnam during the post-war era, circa 1975-1981. I envision a digital experience that can be accessed by people all around the world to learn more about the suffering and experiences of Vietnamese conflict reugees. Specifically I would like to educate about the socio-political dynamics of Vietnam and explore the civil intrastate dynamic of the war rather than an East vs West conflict that is primarily associated with the Vietnam Conflict.

Through collecting stories that are not often shared, I hope to preserve these deeply personal stories about the harrowing terrors of those who were forced/compelled/had to leave their homeland and embark on a difficult journey with no certainty of where they would end up and no choice to return home.

Ultimately I hope to explore the Vietnamese diaspora in a similar manner that Jewish scholars explore their own dispersion over many countries. I believe that there is a similarity in goals for exploration and healing of affected cultures.


My current vision is to create a website or app that presents the brief history of South Vietnam and the history of the diaspora and connected by nodes to personal stories or related information. As starting points I can think of Vietnamese who fled by boat, by land, by plane. Or Vietnamese who were forced to flee for working with the US, economic, religious, political, or other reasons. I can explore locations, times, people, or objects.


For this project I plan to build a website and present different nodes of data. Such as number of people leaving, where they went, what route they took, average time at a refugee camp, average processing time, locations, intake immigration policies, number of pirate attacks, for example 349 of 452 (77%) of boats carrying refugees were attacked by pirates in 1981. I think this information is quite compelling and can give a sense of depth and at the macro scale before diving into micro level with personal stories.