The RMIT Copyright Agency Asia-Pacific Partnership Program (WrICE) generates reciprocal cultural exchange and cultural immersion, building and nurturing connections between Australian and Asian writers and writing. The most recent WrICE collaborative residency took place in Vietnam in February 2015 and will be followed by activity later in the year in Melbourne and Brisbane, in association with a number of partners.
Collaborative Writers’ Residency and Public Events, Vietnam 2015
Collaborative Residency, Hoi An Vietnam
The World Heritage UNESCO listed old city of Hoi An was the perfect place for an immersive residency. The five-day collaborative residency involved a mixture of individual writing time in the mornings and workshopping time in the afternoons. Participants lived together in the same hotel where they had individual work spaces. Some preferred to work in the hotel, others took themselves off into the laneways of the city on bicycles or on foot to write. In the afternoons all the writers gathered together around a large table in the breakfast room of the hotel and listened to each other’s work in progress, responding to and discussing the work as they went. Everyone had a chance to share their work. In the evenings there was the opportunity for the writers to share a multitude of cultural experiences with each other in the city and surrounds.
Workshops and Readings at Manzi, Hanoi
Manzi Art Space was an intimate venue in Hanoi, providing the perfect atmosphere for the readings and sharing of work that took place. Workshops included Contemporary Approaches to Fiction, Contemporary Approaches to Poetry and Contemporary Approaches Nonfiction. All events were open to the general public and generated a broad audience including writers and students, the majority of whom were Vietnamese.
Thursday 5 February, The National Library of Vietnam, Hanoi
The showcase event took place at the National Library of Vietnam on 5 February, where the Australian Ambassador to Vietnam, Mr Hugh Borrowman, RMIT Vietnam President Gael McDonald, and all the participating writers were equally delighted with the success of the simultaneously translated panel discussion featuring the program’s distinguished writers. In a partnership with The National Library of Vietnam a public function, panel discussion and readings took place with writers BaoChan Nguyen, Suchen Christine Lim and Cate Kennedy, which included an intimate reception. Hugh Borrowman, Australian Ambassador to Vietnam, and Gael McDonald, President RMIT Vietnam opened the event. This event provided a platform for writers from around the world to discuss their critically acclaimed work and engage with local readers and writers.
“Nguyen Bao Chan, Cate Kennedy and I together with Francesca Rendle-Short had a great time shooting the breeze on stage at the National Library of Vietnam. We showed that poetry and story can bond us at a far deeper level than diplomacy. We wrote the clear sky just like the 3 iconic Chinese words carved on the side of the Pen Tower of Hanoi – “Hsieh Ching Tian” (“Write the Clear Sky”)
Suchen Christine Lim – Singaporean Novelist