Vol 34 | No 2 | Spring 16
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Film Series Collaboration with the Southeast Asian Student Association (SASA)

ImageThe UCI Libraries Orange County and Southeast Asian Archive (OC&SEAA) Center has partnered with the Southeast Asian Student Association at UCI to provide programming that highlights our Southeast Asian Archive collections as well as fulfill SASA's mission is to raise awareness around issues impacting Southeast Asian American communities among UCI's undergraduate student population. Student organizers wanted to host regular film screenings to bring current issues to the fore. The OC&SEAA Center provided space, content, and technology to bring this vision to life in January as a pilot to see if a quarterly or monthly film series would interest UCI students and faculty.

SASA officer, Sophaline Chuong, worked with Thuy Vo Dang, Archivist for Southeast Asian Archive and Regional History, to select a new documentary recently added to the SEAA collections called Can for the first screening held on January 28, 2016. Can is one of the first documentary films that explores the issue of mental illness for Asian Americans in an in-depth way. Filmmaker Pearl J. Park follows the struggles and triumphs of Can Truong, a Vietnamese American from a refugee family who suffers from bipolar disorder and severe depression. Following the screening, SASA students led a discussion to further understand how these issues might relate to their own communities and families.

Twenty-four students attended the film screening and stayed to engage in the thoughtful conversation. A few were from Asian American Studies classes, where they were offered extra credit to attend and write response papers to submit to their professors. After the success of this first film screening, we geared up for more, including an April 7th screening of Don't Think I've Forgotten: Cambodia's Lost Rock and Roll, another film recently added to the SEAA collections. The film focuses on popular music stars of the 50's, 60's, and 70's in Cambodia and has been described as "A vibrant musical culture that was nearly lost forever under the brutal Khmer Rouge regime is revived and celebrated." The screening included a faculty discussant, Professor Lan Duong, who is with the UC Humanities Research Institute and leading the "Critical Refugee Studies" group. Her research focuses on media and cultural studies.

The film series reflects our efforts to build strategic partnerships with campus organizations and provide the community with programs that reflect our commitment to diversity and increased inter-cultural understanding.

For more information, please contact Thuy Vo Dang, Ph.D., Archivist for Southeast Asian Archive and Regional History at tvodang@uci.edu or x41878.