Public Debate: Vietnamese in Warsaw

Public Debate: Vietnamese in Warsaw

Present/absent on the cultural map of Warsaw

The debate was organized by the Warsaw University team together with their Associate Partner, the Museum of Warsaw, on April 4th 2022. The event was hosted by Muzeum Pragi (Praga Museum of Warsaw) a branch of the Museum of Warsaw. The list of panellists included: 

Thang Long Do: a Vietnamese community activist, president of the Artistic and Cultural Association of the Vietnamese in Poland "BAY."

Thuc Linh Nguyen Vu: historian currently working at the Center for Research on the History of Transformation (RECET) at the University of Vienna, and a second-generation Vietnamese brought up in Poland.

Konrad Schiller: an art historian (University of Warsaw), PhD student at IS PAN in Warsaw and the head of the Wola branch of the Museum of Warsaw.

Aleksandra Winiarska: sociologist and cultural studies specialist, assistant professor at the Institute of Applied Social Sciences at the University of Warsaw and an associate researcher at the Center for Migration Research of the University of Warsaw.

The debate was moderated by Grazyna Szymanska-Matusiewicz, PI of the Warsaw University team in the “en/counter/points” project and the introduction to the debate was provided by co-I Joanna Wawrzyniak.

During the panel, we brought together the perspectives of a historian, a sociologist, a museum practitioner and a community activist on what it takes for the Vietnamese community to be permanently present in the Warsaw cultural space. We discussed examples of socio-cultural initiatives with the participation of Polish Vietnamese undertaken over the last 30 years in Warsaw, addressing a long history of one of the largest minority communities in the city, dating back to the 1950s. 


The participants voiced their reflections and recommendations related to the activities that should be undertaken by actors such as cultural institutions, public administration, Polish non-governmental institutions and the Vietnamese community to address the barriers that stand in the way of the participation of the Vietnamese community in Warsaw and Polish cultural institutions. Several components were mentioned as potentially helpful in fostering the involvement and inclusion of the Polish Vietnamese, such as including the artefacts related to the community in the collections of the Museum of Warsaw, providing permanent representation of the community members in the boards and councils of cultural institutions and including the migrant communities in the development strategies of the city of Warsaw.


Dr Grażyna Szymańska-Matusiewicz
Warsaw University PI 
Photographs © Grażyna Szymańska-Matusiewicz
Date of Post: 21/04/2022

Last modified: Mon, 16 May 2022 18:01:00 BST