In the process of sharing her father‚Äôs story through pictures, Kim Nguyen hopes to gain a clearer picture of herself and her place in the world.
As one of 30 students selected to take part in Fujifilm‚Äôs ‚ÄúStudents of Storytelling‚ÄĚ contest, the Newington native and 2020 University of Connecticut graduate is embarking on a two-month journey into her family‚Äôs past.
‚ÄúBy telling my father‚Äôs immigrant story, of his journey from Vietnam, I hope to develop my own sense of identity as a minority in my community and country. How will I shape my legacy?‚ÄĚ
That is the theme Nguyen came up with to explore over the next two months, as she develops a series of images to tell a story. Mentors from Fujifilm will guide her through.
The program was designed for college students in the US who submitted proposals in April and May. In mid-June, 30 winners were announced, including Nguyen. All had the opportunity to select up to $3,000 in camera equipment from Fujifilm to do their projects.
Nguyen grew up in Newington, graduating from Newington High School in the Class of 2016. She studied journalism and psychology at UConn.
‚ÄúThe Fujifilm project couldn‚Äôt have come at a better time,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúI‚Äôm at that in-between stage where I just graduated and I‚Äôm looking for a job. Telling my dad‚Äôs immigrant story is something I‚Äôve always wanted to do. I‚Äôm really, really grateful for the opportunity.‚ÄĚ
Nguyen recently sat down with her father to discuss the project.
‚ÄúHe came from Vietnam after the war to start a new life and raise a family,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúI had never really sat down with him to have a full conversation about his life so that was kind of cool.‚ÄĚ
Nguyen is planning on sending her completed project to family, including relatives who live in Vietnam. Ultimately, it‚Äôs also a journey of self-discovery.
‚ÄúI‚Äôm trying to establish my identity for myself,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúI‚Äôm kind of stuck between two cultures. I‚Äôm hoping this project will help me figure out my identity.‚ÄĚ
By this fall, Nguyen‚Äôs completed project will be up for viewing at studentsofstorytelling.com and @keemkaptures on social media.
‚ÄúEveryone has a story to tell and we want to help tell it,‚ÄĚ said Victor Ha, director of marketing, Fujifilm North America Corporation, Electronic Imaging Division. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôre excited to launch this program to inspire students to create compelling image and video content and to provide a platform to those just starting their creative journey. We care about storytelling and we believe that everyone has an individual story to tell. ‚ÄėStudents of Storytelling‚Äô will enable us to focus on the equally important stories of people just starting out in their professional journey.‚ÄĚ
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.