A zine showcasing hope, joy and mundanity in the lives of queer and disabled folk, produced by a newly found community. Comics, collage, illustration, poetry, and prose.
From the curator:
Through the lens of photography and documentary, Alex gives us an insight into Ná Nả: a local circular economy project aimed at generating income and preserving local culture and wisdom with Hmong farmers in Vietnam’s northwestern region. We follow its founders Mua and Tủa as they travel to their hometowns, with Alex’s camera recording intimate views of the region and its produce. As Alex notes, this return marks an alternative path for young people: a choice to eschew the narrative of labour and success as tied to urban metropolises, to reject unsustainable consumption, and to seek and be nourished by indigenous wisdom.
From the storyteller:
In 2019, Khang A Tủa and Mua Thị Mua, two young hearts from the Hmong ethnic minority group, decided to return to Tủa’s hometown of Mù Cang Chải. There they launched Ná Nả, which has since become a pioneer in the region in regenerating local culture and practices by selling local products and working with farmers in the region. Ná Nả strengthens the Hmong community’s self-reliance through improving skills and creating jobs, especially for women and girls.
My storytelling project intends to not just increase awareness about the threats and challenges that many ethnic minority groups confront, such as mass tourism, urban growth, climate change, and migration. More importantly, it shows a potential answer for the next generation, particularly young people from ethnic minority groups, in addressing present concerns. Mua and Tủa’s return is not merely to a physical place, but also to sustainable living, indigenous wisdom, and spirituality.
Ná Nả’s Facebook page:
Alex Nguyen & Thì Collective
Hoang Nguyen Minh Anh
Khang A Tủa and Mùa Thị Mua