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SAIGON: Between Life and History


People – families – of diaspora carry the traces of change: new circumstances, different languages, uncertainty and often trauma. How do the ghosts of history and geography affect the everyday experiences and identities of people today? And what happens when the places where your parents and grandparents lived no longer exist – or you don’t share a language with your parents because you grew up in different places?

For Asia TOPA 2020, theatre director Caroline Guiela Nguyen presents SAIGON – a moving family saga tracing the paths of 11 characters across history and space. In March, her translator, Nguyen Duc Duy, will join Australian writer Benjamin Law for a conversation about language, theatre and comedy, and this incredible play that places the art of translation at centre stage. They will also explore the intergenerational, intercultural dimensions of their work – treasured by audiences, but largely missing from international stages. Hosted by Beverley Wang.

Presented in partnership with Asia TOPA.


Benjamin Law

Benjamin Law writes books, TV screenplays, columns, essays and feature journalism. He’s the author of the memoir The Family Law (2010), the travel book Gaysia: Adventures in the Queer East (2012) – both nominated for Australian Book Industry Awards – and the Quarterly Essay on Safe Schools... Read more

Beverley Wang

Beverley Wang is a journalist, broadcaster and creator of the ABC podcast It’s Not A Race, which has been hailed as a ground-breaking series opening up conversations on race in Australia. She is also the producer and co-host of Stop Everything! on ABC RN, focusing on the politics of pop culture.... Read more

Nguyen Duc Duy

Nguyen Duc Duy was born and grew up in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. In 2012, Nguyen commenced a French translation major at the University of Pedagogy, and during that time translated on a variety of topics from piping and plumbing, waste management to butchery. In 2015, Nguyen met theatre director Ca... Read more


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