About Trinh T. Minh-ha
Trinh T. Minh-ha (b. 1952, Hanoi, Vietnam) is a filmmaker, writer, composer and Professor of Rhetoric and Gender & Women’s Studies at the University of California, Berkeley.

Spanning nearly four decades, Trinh’s complex, theoretical, and poetic practice includes moving image, writing, musical composition, installation, and teaching. Recognized for her innovative and experimental approaches to image-making and storytelling, Trinh’s work has significantly influenced numerous artists, directors, and thinkers across several generations. She dedicates her practice to questioning totalising systems of knowledge and representations and categories of identity, and has made profound contributions to the fields of postcolonial and feminist studies.



Raised in South Vietnam during the Vietnam War, Trinh studied piano and music composition at the National Conservatory of Music and Theater in Saigon. She moved to the United States in 1970 to study composition, ethnomusicology, and French Literature at the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, completing an MA in French Literature, a Master of Music, and a PhD in French and Francophone Literatures. Her research would eventually take her to Senegal and Dakar, where she studied cinema and cultural theory.

Trinh posits her films as "boundary events," existing in a zone between labels—a place where new labels might form or dissolve or cross over one another, allowing the work to evade categorization. The work inhabits spaces between documentary fiction and experimental film, enhanced by the use of reflexive cinematic techniques and editorial processes that challenge the traditional documentary form and deconstructs modes of thinking and looking.

To date, she has produced eight films that have been honored in over forty retrospectives around the world: Forgetting Vietnam (90 mins, 2015); Night Passage (98 mins, 2004); The Fourth Dimension (87 min, 2001); A Tale of Love (108 mins, 1995), an experimental narrative; Shoot for the Contents (102 mins, 1991), a film on culture, art and politics in China; Surname Viet Given Name Nam (108 mins, 1989), a film on identity and culture through the struggle of Vietnamese women; Naked Spaces - Living is Round (135 mins, 1985); and Reassemblage (40 mins, 1982).



She has published countless articles, book chapters, and journal contributions (156, to be exact) on cinema, cultural politics, feminism and the art, and is the author of twelve books, including Lovecidal: Walking with The Disappeared (Fordham University Press, 2016), D-Passage: The Digital Way (Duke University Press, 2013), Elsewhere, Within Here (Routledge, 2011), Cinema Interval (Routledge, 1999), Framer Framed (Routledge, 1992), When the Moon Waxes Red: Representation, Gender & Cultural Politics (Routledge, 1991), and the canonical Woman, Native, Other: Writing Postcoloniality and Feminism (Indiana University Press, 1989). Her book of poems En miniscules (Le Méridien éditeur, formerly Les Editions Saint-Germain des Près) was published in 1987. Along with Cornel West, Russell Ferguson and Martha Gever, she co-edited Out There: Marginalisation in Contemporary Culture (New Museum and M.I.T. Press, 1990).

Her oeuvre also includes several large-scale, collaborative installations, including Forgetting Vietnam (Asia Culture Center, Gwangju, 2015-2018); Surname Viet Given Name Nam (Centre for Contemporary Art, Singapore, 2014); Nothing But Ways (in collaboration with Lynn Kirby, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, 1999); L'Autre marche (The Other Walk) (in collaboration with Bourdier, Musée du Quai Branly, Paris, 2006-2009); and Old Land New Waters (Okinawa Fine Arts Museum, 2007 and the 3rd Guangzhou Triennale, China, 2008).

Retrospectives and surveys of her films have been presented at the Institute of Contemporary Art, London; Secession, Vienna; Jeu de Paume, Paris; and the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, among many, many others. She has participated in the 2012 Contemporary Art Triennale at the Palais de Tokyo; the 1987 and 1992 Whitney Biennials; Documenta 11; and the Shanghai (2004), Busan (2004), and Kyoto (2003) Art Biennales.



Trinh is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Wild Dreamer Lifetime Achievement Award at the Subversive Festival, Zagreb, Croatia, 2014; the Lifetime Achievement Award from Women's Caucus for Art, 2012; and the 2006 Trailblazers Award at the MIPDoc (International Documentary Film Event) in Cannes, France. She received an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from California College of the Arts in 2007) and Oberlin College in 1990. She was invited to be part of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ Class of 2016.

Her Vietnamese heritage as well as years of her life spent in West Africa, Japan, and the United States have informed her work, particularly her focus on cultural politics. Trinh has lectured extensively across the globe and has taught at the National Conservatory of Music in Dakar, Senegal (1977-80); at universities such as Cornell, San Francisco State, Smith, and Harvard in the United States; Ochanomizu and Ritsumeikan in Japan; and Dongguk in Korea. A professor at UC Berkeley since 1994, Trinh teaches courses that focus on gender politics as related to cultural politics, post-coloniality, contemporary critical theory, Third Cinema, the voice in social and creative contexts, and the autobiographical.

For more, you can browse her website.

Trinh's entire catalogue of films are available through Women Make Movies.

And many of her books can be found at your local bookstore for purchase.