Tag Archives: hanoi

Homage to Hanoi and its powers of reinvention

Hanoi is our home from home and to see people leave is very sad, but that is part of things. This beautiful leaving post by one of our community has pushed me to write this morning, to say goodbye and pay respect to the regenerative and re-inventive powers of our city.

There is something about Hanoi and the people that stick around that make it addictive. Many are put off by its brusqueness, it’s frenetic and increasingly polluted avenues and alleyways. There are days when you would happily drive out of the throngs and just keep going, just keep driving north or south, anywhere but just keep going. It wouldn’t be a bad move to be honest because before you know it you might be here,

or here

However, for those of us that have stayed we have been rewarded by a place that seems to nudge you in the right direction – that says, “Are you still here? Have you done that thing you were saying you would do?” Then you end up in a place like this,

cafe nau da by cc

cafe nau da by cc

with a notebook, plotting all sorts of grand schemes.

Dom is just the latest of many people we have seen arrive in one guise and leave under another, having followed an inclination and turned it into a way of living. Sometimes they move on, sometimes they stay and often they come back. Anyhoo – adios and good luck Mr Dom (and Ms Cat). Can’t think of a time I bumped into you both and you didn’t make me laugh. Look forward to seeing more pics from Berlin and you back in the bia hoi to tell us all about it.


Creative community building with PechaKucha Hanoi

PKHN flyers #1 by cc and #2 and #3 by Julie VoLa

PKHN flyers #1 by cc and #2 and #3 by Julie VoLa

Hanoi based photographer Matthew Dakin kicks off PKHN#1

Hanoi based photographer Matthew Dakin kicks off PKHN#1

Our hope for PechaKucha Hanoi was that with an open approach and the inherent flexibility of the 20 slides x 20 seconds format we would be able to tempt some of the creativity lurking shyly in the corners of our city out into the open – and so it has proved. Over the three events there have been almost as many styles and subjects as we have had presentations. We have seen Hanoi photostories, the outing of secret passions and several personal accounts of how and why people create their art, music, films and enterprises.

Cate Gunn + Blue Dragon kids PKHN #1

Cate Gunn + Blue Dragon kids PKHN #1

We have also, pleasingly, seen our presenters push the format in different directions including using images with sign language, a single visual concept repeated, a bilingual pictorial poem and some musical experimentation. We welcome these innovations and look forward to seeing how our next set of speakers will engage with the growing audience (more than 250 at the last event) at our next event in mid-May.

Musician Tri Minh presenting at PKHN#3

Musician Tri Minh presenting at PKHN#3

We do feel we can do better in reaching out to different sections of the local community though. Our most important goal for PechaKucha Hanoi is for it to be a community event for Hanoians of any background or culture to share ideas and this is a work in progress. We saw in the last event two bilingual presentations and we hope for more of that from both native and non-native Vietnamese speakers.

Courtyard screen PKHN#3

Courtyard screen PKHN#3

We owe a huge debt to our hosts at the Hanoi Cinematheque for helping us create a warm and open atmosphere for the three nights we have run. By helping us to set up two screens, we have been able to offer different ways to experience the event. In the main room with the presenters or, in the courtyard closer to the bar.

Mainroom PKHN#3

Mainroom PKHN#3

Community Support

PechaKucha Hanoi has been a pleasure to organise as we have had so much support from the local community. As well as our gratitude to all our plucky speakers special thanks go to photographer Julie Vola for her help with the wonderful flyers and @lissgriffin for pushing buttons, fixing slideshows and for being at the end of the phone. We have also had great support from both the Word and the Hanoi Grapevine as official media sponsors and are also very grateful to @Hanoi_Ink, @TheComicalHat and @StickyinHanoi for keeping the Hanoian twitterverse abreast of our activities.

Based in Hanoi and keen to present?
Our next event is scheduled for Thursday the 17th of May and we are are looking for a few more speakers to add to those that have already signed up. Remember you can talk about pretty much anything – email us (see sidebar) with your ideas and we will get back to you.

Fancy getting involved?

Photographer/ Audio Visual Support
To help us record and run event we are looking for someone to take photographs and help set up and run the two screens.

Graphic Designer
We are also looking for a volunteer to help us with graphic design and the building of a website.

Mail list?
Please drop us an email and we will add you to our mail list.

We welcome feedback and ideas for future events that you can either post in the comments section of this post or email us.

Five reasons to PechaKucha

This summer we contacted the creators of PechaKucha, Astrid Klein and Mark Dytham (Klein Dytham architecture) to ask them if we could start a PechaKucha night in Hanoi. They said yes. What follows are five reasons to consider attending one of these events, be it ours or another of the regular nights happening in 442 cities around the world.

20 x 20 by C Campbell (cctinto on flickr)
20 x 20 by C Campbell (cctinto on flickr)

1. The creativity of constriction.

Sonneteers have 14 lines, twitterers 140 characters and PechaKucha presenters 20 seconds on each of their 20 slides. Rather than a hindrance, constrictions like these can be the catalyst for creativity, for distilling your thoughts down to what you really want to say. Additionally, the format lends itself to presentations and evenings that flow.


'Serendipity' by alex drennan from flickr

'Serendipity' by alex drennan from flickr

2. Serendipity

It is easy to get a little tangled up in the webs and routines many of us find ourselves in, especially as our search engines and social networking software get better at telling us what they think we want to know. A PechaKucha night can provide a useful way to mix things up a little, to get a glimpse of what people in other fields are doing and the way they are going about it. On a good night you might just get an idea that helps you make a breakthrough with a project you are working on or happen across something that takes you down a new and productive path.


'House' by Hideyuki Nakayama from www.busyboo.com

'House' by Hideyuki Nakayama from http://www.busyboo.com

3. Design literate

PechaKucha was started by designers for designers and while the concept has evolved into a much broader and diverse network, a level of design mindfulness remains at its core. Speakers, be they professional or amateur, are all trying to communicate a visually arresting narrative with their audience.





4. Open, community based and not-for-profit

Anyone can get up and talk about pretty much anything at a PechaKucha night. It is about sharing ideas. The organisers both globally and locally do not make money from the events and the only reason someone might not be granted permission to speak at a PK night is if the organisers feel the content may not be in keeping with the ethos of the event or may put the permission to run the event in jeopardy.

'beer' by  aka_lusi from flickr

'beer' by aka_lusi from flickr

5. Conviviality

With all that this creative nourishment going on you will have more than earned the right to have a few beers in a setting where you can decide how you want to experience the event.

The Hanoi version at the homely Cinematheque on 22A Hai Ba Trung Street will have two spaces where you can follow the presentations. This means you can either sit down in the main room where the speakers will present or mingle at the bar where another screen will show the presentations, an ideal spot for a little gentle hob-nobbing.

If you are interested in presenting at a Hanoi PechaKucha night please contact us by email at hanoipechakucha@gmail.com. If you want more details about upcoming events go here or follow us on twitter.