Archives par mot-clé : Ho Chi Minh-Ville

Ann Marie Leshkowic: Essential Trade – Vietnamese Women in a Changing Marketplace

Information from Christina Schwenkel.

Congratulations to Ann Marie Leshkowich, recipient of the 2016 Harry J. Benda Book Prize for her pioneering ethnography, Essential Trade: Vietnamese Women in a Changing Marketplace, University of Hawai’i Press. The award will be presented at the upcoming AAS conference in Seattle. 

“My husband doesn’t have a head for business,” complained Ngoc, the owner of a children’s clothing stall in Ben Thanh market. “Naturally, it’s because he’s a man.” When the women who sell in Ho Chi Minh City’s iconic marketplace speak, their language suggests that activity in the market is shaped by timeless, essential truths: Vietnamese women are naturally adept at buying and selling, while men are not; Vietnamese prefer to do business with family members or through social contacts; stallholders are by nature superstitious; marketplace trading is by definition a small-scale enterprise.

Essential Trade looks through the façade of these “timeless truths” and finds active participants in a political economy of appearances: traders’ words and actions conform to stereotypes of themselves as poor, weak women in order to clinch sales, manage creditors, and protect themselves from accusations of being greedy, corrupt, or “bourgeois” – even as they quietly slip into southern Vietnam’s growing middle class. But Leshkowich argues that we should not dismiss the traders’ self-disparaging words simply because of their essentialist logic. In Ben Thanh market, performing certain styles of femininity, kinship relations, social networks, spirituality, and class allowed traders to portray themselves as particular kinds of people who had the capacity to act in volatile political and economic circumstances. When so much seems to be changing, a claim that certain things or people are inherently or naturally a particular way can be both personally meaningful and strategically advantageous.

Based on ethnographic fieldwork and life history interviewing conducted over nearly two decades, Essential Trade explores how women cloth and clothing traders like Ngoc have plied their wares through four decades of political and economic transformation: civil war, postwar economic restructuring, socialist cooperativization, and the frenetic competition of market socialism. With close attention to daily activities and life narratives, this groundbreaking work of critical feminist economic anthropology combines theoretical insight, vivid ethnography, and moving personal stories to illuminate how the interaction between gender and class has shaped people’s lives and created market socialist political economy. It provides a compelling account of postwar southern Vietnam as seen through the eyes of the dynamic women who have navigated forty years of profound change while building their businesses in the stalls of Ben Thanh market.

Source : University of Hawaii Press

Les mères indignées du 30 avril

39 ans après la fin de la guerre, des paysannes indignées fêtent à leur manière la journée du 30 avril. Rendues à Ho Chi Minh-Ville devant l’ambassade des États-Unis, elles manifestent leur colère contre l’injustice du régime communiste. Leurs slogans sont sans appel : “à bas les corrompus”, “à bas le régime communiste”, “à bas les communistes voleurs”, “à bas la répression”, “30 avril, journée de la perte des droits de l’homme”, “30 avril journée du ressentiment pour les indignés du Sud”, “30 avril journée noire pour le peuple vietnamien”, “Vietnam : pas de droits de l’homme, pas de droits pour les femmes”… Un événement totalement inédit depuis la chute de Saigon le 30 avril 1975 et aujourd’hui relayé sur la toile.

La première vidéo postée par le quotidien vietnamien Người Việt (Le Vietnamien) dont le siège se trouve aux États-Unis en Californie témoigne de cet événement extraordinaire. Avant d’être poursuivies par des policiers en civil, les mères indignées, téméraires, tentent de se défendre avec leurs bâtons de manifestantes. Elles sont finalement embarquées de force dans un bus.

A l’initiative de cette manifestation : “Le mouvement de solidarité des pétionnaires en lutte” (Phong Trào Liên Đới Dân Oan Tranh Đấu).

Le départ de la manifestation : “Leur libération du 30 avril c’est le vol de nos terres”.

L’analyse du journal Người Việt en ligne (jusqu’à la minute 1:36). Rappel des slogans proférés lors de la manifestation.

La banderole dit : "xx" © 2014 Dan Lam Bao
La banderole dit : “30 avril : jour de deuil pour le peuple est le jour des indignés du Viêt-Nam” © 2014 Dan Lam Bao
La manifestante Hồ Giang Mỹ Lệ, maltraitée par les policiers, est contrainte de monter dans le bus © 2014 Dan Lam Bao
La manifestante Hồ Giang Mỹ Lệ, maltraitée par les policiers en civil, est contrainte de monter dans le bus © 2014 Dan Lam Bao 


Pour en savoir plus:

Voir le compte-rendu de la manifestation par Tran Ngoc Anh sur sa page Facebook, reprise sur le blog Dân Làm Báo.