Patricia Nguyen is an artist, educator, and scholar who was born and raised in Chicago, Illinois. As a child of refugees, her performance work is grounded in her family’s stories to critically engage with issues of forced migration, notions of freedom, inherited war trauma, memory, home, and healing. In her practice as a performance artist, she works creating durational performances and devised theater pieces that bring together oral histories of Vietnamese/American refugees through poetry and labor intensive movements while working with a juxtaposition between natural and fabricated materials (such as water, soil, fish sauce, fabric, and plastics). Her work in installation art seeks to play with the tactile and sensorial affects of audience witnessing and participation. Presently, she is experimenting with the place of ephemerality in performance and installation, asking, “how can we archive an experience?” and “where does the body dis/appear in installation art?” She has performed at the Nha San Collective in Vietnam, the Mission Cultural Center in San Francisco, Jane Addams Hull House, Oberlin College, Northwestern University, University of Massachusetts Boston, and Prague Quadrennial. In addition, Patricia has over 10 years experience working in arts education, community development, and human rights in the United States, Brazil, Philippines, and Vietnam. She has facilitated trainings and workshops with The Fulbright Program, U.S. Embassy in Vietnam, Jane Addams Hull House, Social Workers Association in Vietnam, and Asian Human Services on issues ranging from mental health, youth empowerment, and language access. Patricia is also a Ph.D. candidate in Performance Studies at Northwestern University and a Paul and Daisy Soros Fellow for New Americans.
Haydee Souffrant is a Chicago-based multimedia artist crafting work through storytelling, lyrical text, movement and visual/performance art to document the legacies of trauma one inherits throughout cultural, familial, and societal generations. Bridging together narratives of mental health + wellness within black and brown communities, Haydee’s work seeks to stimulate conversations on how do communities maintain survival in sharing stories of struggle and resistance alongside alternative healing practices. Studying West African dance forms with the Dance Diaspora Dance Theater Ensemble of Oberlin College, Haydee’s literary and visual work has been featured in numerous online literary publications, Oberlin College, The Whitney Museum, and other venues in and around Chicagoland. Haydee is a graduate of Oberlin College, and a matriculating Interdisciplinary Arts + Media graduate student at Columbia College Chicago with her work focusing on the intersections of storytelling, mental health, legacies of trauma + healing across communities of color.