Online Talk: Europe’s Hmong Communities and Cultural Expressions

February 24, 2023
13:00 – 14:30
Book Tickets

The Hmong people are a diverse highland minority ethnic group, based across multiple states in East and Southeast Asia. In the 1970s, because they provided assistance to the US army during the Vietnam War, a large population of the Hmong were displaced to Thailand, the United States, Australia, France, Germany, and more. They form a diverse diasporic community across the globe and have developed their own unique cultural expressions.

Hmong Exhibition in Cevennes, France, 2017, image courtesy of Dr Tian Shi
QXLMH, Our Language Production and the Summoning of the Language Behemoth, 2022, installation view at Guangdong Times Museum
Portrait of Dr Tian Shi, courtesy of the speaker
Portrait of Hanlu Zhang, credit: Centre Pompidou/ Hervé Veronese
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In this online talk, Anthropologist Dr Tian Shi will discuss the historical and mythological significance of migration for the Hmong community. From the ancient Great Migration in Hmong historical legends to contemporary diasporic memories, expressions of migration have shaped Hmong’s cultural identity. Shi will also explore her research and demonstrate how French Hmong rap artists convert their nostalgia, experience, and ‘in-betweenness’ into the sound space: how they construct an alternative discourse in which young people are able to show solidarity, and how an underrepresented community navigates belonging, nostalgia, and resistance. 

Shi is also a member of QXLMH, a volunteer-run cooperative with members from different Miao dialect regions (including Xongb, Hmub, Hmongb, Ahmaob) focusing on reserving and modernising the Miao language. QXLMH aims to be a contemporary voice of the endangered language, and advocate for transnational connections within the Miao community.

Tian Shi
Hanlu Zhang
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