AD HOC TALK 02: Surviving the fantasies of modernization

AD HOC TALK 02: Surviving the fantasies of modernization

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Tues 27 July 2021, 07 pm – 09 pm
Meeting ID: 873 0547 1481
Passcode: 681941
Registration link

From the organizer:

This is the second talk in the AD HOC TALK series. RMIT University Vietnam is collaborating with Hà Nội Ad Hoc in their multi-year design-research project mapping the city memory of Hanoi.

This year the focus is “Hanoi Ad Hoc 1.0: Architecture, Factories and (Re)Tracing the Modern Dream of Recent Past.”
Join our keynote speakers in this webinar which explores the role of urban women factory workers in shaping a modernist vision. A history of this underlying era can form the basis of new questions in how to best navigate the contemporary transition occurring in the cities socio-cultural, built, and urban architecture.

Keynote speakers

Mila Rosenthal // Human rights educator and campaigner, healthy people and planet development // Hanoi Ad hoc’s core team member

The March 8 Textile Factory was a major site for the Vietnamese Communist Party’s efforts in the 1960’s and 1970’s to manufacture a modern socialist society, economy, city, and family. Dr Mila Rosenthal documented the labor and lives of March 8 women workers in the 1990’s, as Vietnam transitioned from socialism to a market economy and set a different ideal of what was considered modern. In the 2000’s, the factory was fully relegated to history and permanently closed.

What do we want to learn from the arc of this famous factory? Dr. Rosenthal will tell this remarkable story of the socialist vision for women’s labor in and around March 8 and how women navigated through and around the social architecture of the community. This story may help us ask new questions about how Hanoi and other cities can build another vision of modernization: better for women, for workers, for the planet.

Jennifer Vanderpool // Social practice artist, writer, and curator

Jennifer Vanderpool will discuss her exhibition Garment Girl, which opened in May 2018 at Heritage Space, Hà Nội, Việt Nam, and in 2019 was exhibited at the Kwan Fong Gallery of Art and Culture at California Lutheran University, Thousand Oaks, California. The Garment Girl narrative developed from Vanderpool’s immigrant grandmother’s reminiscences about working as a cook in a sweatshop in the Allegheny Mountains and her mother’s stories about sewing shirt collars to pay her college tuition. Vanderpool interlaced her matrilineal family stories of struggle with current labor activism, investigating the global textile industry and the stories of unseen garment workers sewing in sweatshops. Garment Girl facilitated this multivocal narrative through archival photographic intervention prints, textiles, community collaborations, and workers’ stories told by Vietnamese refugees who worked in Los Angeles sweatshops and those described by women textile laborers in Hà Nội. Vanderpool interwove their stories with ones she conducted with labor scholars and activists in both locations.

Facilitator: Michal Teague, Design Studies lecturer at RMIT Hanoi City campus.

About the speakers:


is an educator and advocate for human rights, human development, and a healthy planet. Her interest in rights and development is rooted in her experience in Vietnam undertaking ethnographic research on industrial work after the đổi mới economic opening. She comes to Hanoi Ad Hoc with immense gratitude to the women workers at the March 8th Textile Factory who for two years generously shared with her their lives and labor, which she documented for her PhD in social anthropology from the London School of Economics.

Now based in New York City, along with her academic engagement teaching economic and social rights at Columbia University, she has held leadership roles in mission-driven international organizations. She manages research and advocacy at Sustainable Partners, Inc; most recently ran communications for the United Nations Development Programme; and before that led people and programs at Amnesty International, HealthRight International, and Concern Worldwide.


A native of the Mahoning Valley in Northeast Ohio, working in Los Angeles and the Midwest, Jennifer Vanderpool is a social practice artist, writer, and curator who investigates traumas in post-prosperity communities and the lives of the working-class. Her work has been featured in recent solo exhibitions at the National Centre for Contemporary Art in Moscow, Russia, and Heritage Space in Hà Nội, Việt Nam. Currently, you can see her mural Comrades Nikifor and Ksenia on view in the group show Transformations: Living Room->Flea Market->Museum->Art at the Wende Museum and Cold War Archive in Culver City, California. Vanderpool’s work has been awarded exhibition funding from the US-UK Fulbright Commission, Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, Ohio Arts Council, Kunstrådet: Danish Arts Council, and Kulturrådet: Swedish Arts Council. The National Endowment for the Arts awarded her co-curated exhibition Manifesto a 2018 Artworks grant. She has been a visiting artist at Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Bogotá; Universiteit van Amsterdam, The Netherlands; RMIT University, Hà Nội; UC Los Angeles; California College of the Arts, Oakland; Indiana University at Bloomington; Virginia Tech University.

Vanderpool holds an Independent, Interdisciplinary Ph.D. in Art Critical Practices in Trauma Studies from UC Santa Barbara. Her doctoral research fields included Art Theory Praxis, Film & Media Studies, and Germanic, Slavic, and Semitic Studies. She earned her MFA from UCSB, where she was a UC Regents Fellow and studied art history at Emory University.

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