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Seminar of Melancholy

The Vietnam War Part 1

During the process of creating these visual notes for my freshman seminar class, I discovered the extent of how much I understand the course content and what else I need to further spend time on in order to better comprehend it. The topic we have been focusing on in the last few weeks pertains to the Vietnam War. Because of the large number of details and events, infographics such as these also serve to organize my thoughts.

The Vietnam War Part 2

In the first illustration, a three-panel wall can be seen in the far upper left corner. This depicts the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. The scrawl on the panels is the fifty-three thousand names of fallen victims of the war. The flowers and teddy bear at the feet of the memorial help paint a picture of the several trinkets and mementos left behind at the memorial friends and family leave behind. Just below is what I imagine a Veteran chat in a modern GroupMe would appear. This specific conversation depicts the misgiving these men gave to Maya Lin, the designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Similar visuals can be seen throughout the page. The country of Vietnam was enraged at the American enemy. The criticism of the site disorganization seen in both the inquisitive emoji and the Washington monument is a classic example of an “erected” monument. The absence of recognition towards Vietnamese veterans in the memorial is seen by the lack of Vietnamese names in the many tombstones. The American army demographics are rendered by the thought bubbles originating from the soldier where the audience can see that the army mostly consisted of colored men from the working class. Lastly, in the far right lower corner, a series of houses can be observed referring to the migration of Vietnamese immigrants into ethnic clusters with the intention of protection in numbers.

The Vietnam War Part 3

In the second illustration, I used meme emphasize the unusual Vietnamese decisions such as the glorification of weapons (M-16), the usage of sorrow to control the citizen’s emotions, and the ambivalence left after the war ended. The shopping bags observed in the far left top corner symbolize the memory industry that boomed after American troops left the territory.

In the third illustration, a more common diagram is seen depicting an American citizen choice of career that would be affected by the social stigmas left after the war. The conscious decision to not mention the Vietnamese in our memorial negates the possible victimization they could take on as a result of it. There are broader images and not as much text as these drawings mostly served as literal reminders of the long lasting effects of the Vietnam War.

sketch 3: Visual Note Taking


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