Free outdoor exhibition to showcase Southeast Asian stories of home, displacement

An interactive arts exhibition, focused on local Southeast Asian people who have faced deportation from the U.S., will be on display in Fields Corner’s Town Field Park on Saturday.

The free event takes place the same day as “Open Streets Dorchester,” which shuts down Dorchester Avenue between Freeport Street and Gallivan Boulevard, allowing people to enjoy games, artists and vendors selling their wares.

The exhibition features artist Ngoc-Tran Vu who is collaborating with Boston City Hall, Asian American Resource Workshop, Olmsted Now Parks Equity, and Sam Lê Shave, among others.

The exhibition is named “Who Belongs Here? Who Doesn’t?” and is expected to feature visual and performing artists sharing stories after months of interviews.

“Since the 1990s, the U.S has issued over 15,000 orders of removal to Southeast Asian refugees,” organizers said in a release, noting that Southeast Asian Americans are the largest refugee community in US history, and Dorchester became home to many after 1975.

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Vu said in an interview with Olmsted Now that organizers are in a way building a version of Southeast Asia’s Mekong River. “We’re thinking about the thread, the connection of that through the Southeast Asian community, and how deportation has really affected us—stemming from post-colonialism, from wars,” Vu said. “Just as the river provides resources and nourishment for the local villages and communities, the impact of losing a family member who has to be deported overseas is the loss of resources and nourishment in the family and the community.”

“Who Belongs Here? Who Doesn’t?” takes place between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. at Town Field Park, located at 1565 Dorchester Ave.

“Open Streets Dorchester” runs from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Street closures start at 7 a.m.

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