Image - Mai Khoi
Past Event

Mai Khoi and the Art of Creative Dissent

She's been called Vietnam's Lady Gaga—a talented, outspoken artist promoting freedom of expression. Join us for an online discussion with an artist who has crafted creative ways to promote freedom.

Mai Khoi is a Vietnamese artist and activist. At the age of 12 she wrote her first song and joined her father's wedding band the same year. She rose to stardom in 2010 after winning the Vietnam Television song and album of the year awards. Several years later she became increasingly uncomfortable having to submit her work to government censors and started the avant-garde dissident trio Mai Khoi Chém Gió. Working at the interface of art and activism Mai Khoi has developed her most unique art form to date. Her new sound is an emotionally charged fusion of free jazz and ethnic Vietnamese music, with her most political, yet personal, song lyrics ever.

Today she leads efforts to promote freedom of artistic expression in Vietnam, for which she was awarded the Vaclav Havel International Prize for Creative Dissent. Her activism has, however, come at a high price. She has had her concerts raided, been evicted from her house, and been detained and interrogated by the police. Mai Khoi is artist in residence at SHIM NYC and an Artist Protection Fund fellow.


This is a free, online-only program; please pre-register to receive a link to the live-stream event.

In partnership with the Vietnamese American Roundtable

Main Photo by Tore Sætre/Wikimedia.

See more Michelle Meow Shows at The Commonwealth Club.

January 28, 2021

United States

Image - Mai Khoi

Mai Khoi

Artist; Activist; Recipient, Vaclav Havel International Prize for Creative Dissent

Image - Michelle Meow

Michelle Meow

Producer and Host, “The Michelle Meow Show”; Member, Commonwealth Club Board of Governors—Co-Host

Image - John Zipperer

John Zipperer

Producer and Host, Week to Week Political Roundtable; Vice President of Media & Editorial, The Commonwealth Club—Co-Host