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Mai Khoi’s dissenting voice

In the dying days of February, an audience gathered in the foyer of the Phu Sa Lab performing-arts space in Hanoi’s Tay Ho District. Representatives from the American embassy and other members of the diplomatic corps rubbed shoulders with activists,

Vietnam’s answer to Pussy Riot furiously dissents

Mai Khoi Do Nguyen has long been described as Vietnam’s Lady Gaga. In more recent years, as her political activism has come to the fore, her expressions of rude dissent, she has also been compared to Russia’s infamous protest band,

Seeing both sides in Ken Burns’ ‘The Vietnam War’

The Vietnam War begins like so many Ken Burns films before it: by listing, in the inimitable voice of Burns’ go-to narrator Peter Coyote, a series of dichotomies that the ten-part, eighteen-hour behemoth will inevitably toggle between, and struggle with, for the

Vietnam’s National Assembly elections plagued by biased vetting, intimidation

When Vietnam elects its National Assembly this weekend, voters will find that, by and large, the choice has already been made for them. The country’s ruling Communist Party blocked more than one hundred independent nominees from running—an unprecedented number whose

What ‘communist chic’ really means

It is one of the most common sights on the streets of Vietnam. In Ho Chi Minh City and Hanoi, Da Lat and Nha Trang, tourists abound whose style might best be described as ‘communist chic’. You will have seen

Vietnam’s lowlands to go under with climate change

When it comes to climate change, Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City is one of the world’s ten most vulnerable cities. As a result, around 70 per cent of its urban area may experience severe flooding in coming decades, according to

Keeping tourists safe in Vietnam: Calls for foreigners’ police force

Ho Chi Minh City authorities have again raised the prospect of establishing a tourism police force to make the burgeoning travel industry safer after a reported surge in street crimes. Just last week, one person was killed and at least

“We have America on our side”: How times have changed for Vietnam

Americans are often pleasantly surprised, upon arriving in Vietnam for the first time, by how little the Vietnamese seem to care about the war these days. They might feel a pang of guilt or two, or else an off-putting sense