Viet Nam The World Tour
2010 - present
Viet Nam The World Tour began in 2010 as a rogue anti-nation-rebranding campaign. It appropriates marketing language, graffiti strategies, and viral video platforms to re-associate a historically colonized and mediated national identity with an entirely new mediated history.
This online media platform is an attempt to create a mechanism that re-works and problematize ideas of nation-hood and nation-branding by becoming it’s own nation-branding campaign that sets out on a challenge to re-associate a historically saturated icon with renewed meaning. If history is an immense archive determined by the printed/written word, impenetrable, how does one overcome its hold on the current state of relations? How can one interject into that archive to re-adjust or counter-balance its favoritism? If George Orwell was correct in saying, “Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.” How then can we interject into this dialogue?
Viet Nam The World Tour collaborates with leading street dancers, graffiti artitsts, public muralists, thinkers, writers, designers and artists and brings them on a tour around the world; creating public interventions, performances, interactive events and workshops, and giving away t-shirts, stickers, and other memorabilia.
Our most recent iteration of the project, entitled Birds of No Nation, is a traveling mural that features a collaboration between El Mac of Los Angeles and Shamsia Hassani of Kabul, Afghanistan.
The 7-meter-wide mural [enamel and acrylic on canvas] is a portrait of Shamsia painted by El Mac in his very unique style using spray cans. The design elements were painted by Shamsia and is an extension of her own graffiti work. The poem, written in Pashto by Shamsia reads: Birds of no nation / All are captive / Like me / Without voices to sing.
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