OUR VIETNAM is a civil society organization that aims to disseminate political knowledge and peacefully advocate for democracy, justice, and universal rights in Vietnam. OUR VIETNAM was founded on September 9, 2020, with the ultimate goal of promoting the Vietnamese democracy movement and the political liberalization of Vietnam.Our organization believes in peace, non-violence, and study to improve Vietnam’s collective knowledge of democracy and universal rights. We seek to unite the Vietnamese people to build a more progressive, rational, and democratic country with equality, fairness, and care for the common good.
Our vision is a call for change: change in the way we think about each other and change in how we work together to surmount the existential challenges Vietnam currently faces. We can and will not be afraid of change to build a better Vietnam.Therefore, we have created this space to share literary and audio-visual products, ranging from books, reports, scientific studies, and social surveys to films, photos, and visual arts, to inform our audience about politics, democratic transitions, the fight for universal rights, and other social phenomena. OUR VIETNAM emphasizes truth, objectivity, and science.
We seek to foster the free exchange of ideas and strive to build a vibrant and inclusive Vietnamese society based on respect for universal rights, pluralism, and the rule of law. The future must always make possible the participation of all in the work toward national solutions. We emphasize the need for people to have a say in shaping public policy that affects them. We support independent voices in civil society, providing creative and dynamic connections between the private and public spheres, between government and citizen.
Adopting the motto “Love is Our Weapon” (taken from the song “Vietnam, Vietnam” by the late composer Pham Duy), we not only hope to build OUR VIETNAM into a trustworthy source of knowledge and truth for the Vietnamese community but also a symbol of love and reconciliation. Our “red blood and yellow skin” have tied us together for millennia and pushed our civilization to surmount countless obstacles throughout history; we have no doubt that devotion to the Vietnamese homeland will continue to drive positive change into the future.No matter where we’re born or where we are in the world, we are all for OUR VIETNAM.
PHAM DOAN TRANG (b.1978 in Hanoi) is a Vietnamese author, blogger, journalist and democracy activist.
She studied at the Hanoi-Amsterdam High School for the Gifted and after graduating from Hanoi Foreign Trade University in 2001 with a degree in International Economics, worked in print media, TV production, and publishing. She has come from a journalism background since 2000 with 13 years of experience working with more than ten press agencies including VnExpress, Vietnamnet, HCM Law Newspaper and VTC television. In 2014, she was the co-founder of Luat Khoa tap chi (Law Journal), an independent journalism firm that focuses on political and legal issues in Vietnam. Because of her work, Trang has been severely beaten and arbitrarily detained by the Vietnamese government on multiple occasions. In 2017, she published Politics for the Common people, her ninth book. Her blog receives about 20,000 visits daily. In 2018, she received the Homo Homini Award, honouring her as one of the leading figures of contemporary Vietnamese dissent. She uses plain words to fight the lack of freedom, the corruption and the despotism of the communist regime. In 2019, Pham Doan Trang was awarded the Press Freedom Award by Reporters Without Borders (RSF), in the Impact category.
After years of evading the authorities, Trang was arrested by Ho Chi Minh City police the night of October 6, 2020, then transferred to Hanoi the next day. She was charged with making and disseminating propaganda against the Vietnamese state. She is currently being held incommunicado in pre-trial detention and faces up to 20 years in prison when convicted.
HOA NGUYEN (b. 1979, Hanoi) is an artist and activist for democracy and human rights.
She attended high school in Moscow, Russia from 1990 to 1995 and started studying at the Hanoi University of Fine Arts in 1996, graduating in 2002. In 2006, she and her artist friends formed an independent collective called HanoiLink. Her exhibitions have been denied many times in Vietnam from 2008 to 2020. In 2012, she left to Australia for work and in 2016, became an Australian citizen. In 2017, she completed two degrees concurrently: one in Visual Arts from the University of Melbourne, and the other in Australian Migration Law and Practice from Australian National University.
Her works center on migration, transformation, and defining what it means to be a human being in a world that is continuously changing. She is an active advocate for the proper treatment of refugees by the Australian government. She is also the chairwoman of Viet Liberty, a non-governmental and non-profit organization in Melbourne, Australia that raises funds for the democracy movement in Vietnam.
TRAN VU LINH (b. 1992, An Giang) is a democracy activist who was initially trained in Vietnamese Studies to become a tour guide.
During his time as a student, however, he became involved with the social activities of independent groups.
He started working as a democracy activist in 2017 and is currently living and studying in Taiwan.
WILL NGUYEN (b. 1985, Houston) is a writer, translator, and Vietnamese democracy activist.
He works with civil society groups in the Asia-Pacific region, North America, and Europe, training activists, translating dissident works and news stories, and rallying international support in pursuit of political reform in Vietnam. His activities focus on helping Vietnamese build a functioning free press, a robust civil society, and a loyal political opposition—all institutions that will push Vietnam’s one-party authoritarian state to do better. Earlier this year, he worked with Pham Doan Trang and the samizdat Liberal Publishing House to produce multiple reports on the Vietnamese government’s violent land grab at Dong Tam, reports which reached the highest levels of office in both the US and the European Union.
Will graduated from Yale University in 2008 with a Bachelor’s in East Asian Studies, and in 2018, after completing his Master in Public Policy at the National University of Singapore, was arrested and briefly imprisoned in Vietnam for his role in nationwide protests.