Contest “Short Stories in Pictures on The Tale of Kieu”: Call for submissions
11 Sep 31 Oct 2019
From Goethe Institut:
HUMAN DIGNITY IS INVIOLABLE
Paintings on relevance in The Tale of Kieu by Nguyen Du
Goethe Institute invites Vietnamese comic artists and animators to send a short story along with 3 still images, moving images or an animation relating to the relevance in The Tale of Kieu. The questions are: How are we reading and intepreting The Tale of Kieu today? What is the image of Kieu in our eyes? Six works will be selected for a prize of 15 millions VND each (VAT not included). Image size should be 983 pixel x 427 pixel.
Kindly send your submission to [email protected] until
11 Sep 31 Oct 2019.
The Tale of Kieu by Nguyen Du is a great literary work of Vietnam’s cultural heritage. Since the 19th century, the work has been included in the national education program and to this day still regarded as a treasure of life experiences for men and women written in Vietnamese.
Why did Goethe Institute choose to focus on this Vietnam’s masterpiece? The Tale of Kieu has been translated and thus found new readers. As always, when a great literary work, such as Cervantes’, Shakepeare’s, Tschechow’s or Goethe’s, is translated into another language, new readers discover its depth and its meaning. This poses a question: Can the work be just as accepted by other cultures, or is it possible to find its place in the new cultural context and accept new interpretations? For example, in music, the permanent challenge with Ode an die Freunde (Ode to joy) – part of Beethoven’s Symphony no.9, could that masterpiece touches the audience’s heart of a different culture and language? If successful, the expressive power of that work will go beyond the boundaries of its homeland. Goethe Institute’s approach to Nguyen Du’s The Tale of Kieu will increase its relevance and bring the work’s reputation beyond national, linguistic and cultural borders.
However, for Western audiences, today Kieu is almost no longer seen merely as a metaphor for the pain and resilience of Vietnam. It is not difficult to recognize a story like a thread throughout centuries about oppression of women and human trafficking. From that point of view, The Tale of Kieu is like a scary fairy tale with many delicate images, and the center is a suppressed woman. She experienced many horrible things and few beautiful experiences. Cruelty came to Kieu, her body and soul were trampled. Like any ordinary person, she seeks luck, wants to live, to love and be loved, but is constantly oppressed and pushed into mistakes. Today, such a story forces us to face the question of the progress in history, the value and dignity of people in this world. What image of people do we represent? What image of women becomes key in our culture? And finally, the question: How are we reading and interpreting The Tale of Kieu today? What is the image of Kieu in our eyes?
Last July, Goethe Institute organized a seminar on multidimensional perspectives on The Tale of Kieu. We got to hear a lot of information and deep analysis, from historical links to the plotlines from China to consultations about women’s roles today. What about single, married or divorced women with and without ties? What are the patterns of culture that bend women bend to the will of one of the values that men set out in habit of patriarchy? How to give women new freedom and confidence to create a new image, a new way of looking at Kieu? How do we interpret and read The Tale of Kieu today? What is the image of Kieu in our eyes?
*NOTE: Hanoi Grapevine merely announces the open calls and cannot help in the application process. For further inquiries, please direct to the organizers.
Translated by Hanoi Grapevine