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, Pussy Riot.
Both comparisons hold true, and yet neither do. Mai Khoi is both a serious artist and a serious activist. She insists that the two sides of the coin cannot be so easily isolated from one another.
“Western journalists often see Vietnam through a political lens,” Mai Khoi says. “When they report on me, the focus is on acts of dissent and my music gets filtered out.”