Displaced Subjects

Revolution, Film, and Women in Việt Nam and Palestine
Sister Hau

Co-written with Professor Lila Sharif (from the School of Social Transformation, Arizona State University)

Publication Year: 2020


As critical refugee studies (CRS) scholars writing from different disciplinary formations and institutional locations, we recognize that the critical juxtaposition of Việt Nam and Palestine is limited and that the disjunctures between these histories cannot be overstated. Studied in tandem, however, Vietnamese and Palestinian film archives reveal that revolutionary cinema remains a critical site for the excavation of displaced knowledge about the subjectivities and solidarities of those in the Global South. Central to a CRS methodology, this epistemological reordering is potent in today’s context, when figures of the “refugee” and “terrorist” have been so weaponized in current political discourse.

To place Palestine and Việt Nam side by side is to reanimate the explosive connections underlying “Third World” revolutions and their vital critique of colonialism, war, and imperialism. Echoing the quotations framing this essay once again, we reclaim Vietnamese and Palestinian revolutionary histories and recuperate the revolutionary feminisms embedded within these histories. In the mode of critical juxtaposition and the spirit of collaboration, we are joined by a desire to imagine—even as we dwell in the colonial past and present—a more radical future for marginalized communities in a global context.

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