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VietNamNews

Spaces for creative collaboration bloom in VN cities

Update: December, 11/2014 - 09:22
HA NOI (VNS)  — Journalist Truong Uyen Ly said at a ceremony yesterday that the creative scene is developing far beyond her expectations.

The British Council commissioned Ly to research a boom in Viet Nam's creative hubs – privately owned spaces designated for people to meet and create ideas or collaborate on projects – and release a report on what she found.

The ceremony, at Laca Coffee on Ly Quoc Su Street, served as a launching platform for the recently completed report.

It was commissioned as part of the council's Creative Economy project, which was initiated in 2008 to strengthen Viet Nam's new creative sectors and support socio-economic growth.

The research focused on the creative scene in Viet Nam, the social impact of the creative hubs, how they are supported and what kinds of people use them. It aimed to map out creative hubs in the country through research and interviews with creative entrepreneurs and practitioners in Ha Noi and HCM City.

"More and more creative hubs are opening," Ly said. "Before starting this research, I could only name about 10 creative hubs, but at the time of writing, there are nearly 40 creative hubs in Viet Nam."

The scene is quite different from in the 1990s and early 2000s, when most creative hubs, cultural events and art experiments depended on foreign culture centres like L'espace, the Goethe Institute, the British Council and the Ford Foundation.

Since 2009, a wide range of creative hubs have been set up, including Doclab; Saturday Coffee; and the most recent, Nha Ga 3A, started in April.

Community contributions

The research also highlights the hubs' significant contributions to their local communities. They offered a welcoming environment where people could meet, exchange ideas and challenge their own boundaries, the report said.

The hubs also play a part in changing each city's identity and urban development: They provide jobs.

"With about 60 businesses and more than 1,000 staff, Zone 9 has probably become Viet Nam's biggest creative collective to date," Ly said.

"Though it was closed, the zone had become a source of inspiration for creativity, and a place for people in creative and business sectors to network. Most of creators now join Ha Noi Creative City."

The meeting spaces faced challenges, like a lack of support from local authorities and owners' limited business skills, according to the report.

In an interview in the report, Truong Minh Quy, co-artistic director of a hub called Zero Station, said he needs training in administration, human resource management and finances so he can manage the space more effectively.

"I was happy to agree to do the research," Ly said. "I was curious to understand more about the creative hubs' development in Viet Nam." — VNS

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