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The Loss of Language and Culture, by Rebecca Nghiem, illustrates the effects of racism in childhood

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FIFSW students often produce creative work, including drawings, paintings, collage, video projects and more, as part of course work or co-curricular initiatives. These art-based projects offer an alternative way to explore, understand, and communicate knowledge, ideas and experiences — as well as inspire action and foster a sense of community. To view more student art, click here.

The Loss of Language and Culture: The Effects of Racism in Childhood

By Rebecca Nghiem

The Loss of Language and Culture is a short stop-motion animation film of how racism shaped the way I presented myself to the world. This film depicts the ups and downs of my experiences of losing my language and culture in childhood to reclaiming those parts of me as I grew older.

Each image chosen, appearing, disappearing, and directed were thought out to tell a story of the effects of bullying, criticism of cultural food, and the lack of representation and stereotypical depiction of Asian people in media. Due to this, I experienced structural violence and racism, and the illusion of multiculturalism which began my recognition of intersectionality. These experiences shaped my identity growing up and continue to impact my journey as I learn to reclaim parts of me that I suppressed as a child.


This project was created for SWK4658: Social Work with Immigrants and Refugees (2022), taught by Associate Professor Izumi Sakamoto.

My name is Rebecca Nghiem, I am part Chinese and part Vietnamese. I am a 2023 MSW graduate with a BSW and Children Studies minor. My parents were refugees to Canada in the 1980s, making me a second-generation immigrant. The experiences my parents had as immigrants and I had as a child of immigrants has impacted the way I presented myself to the world and on my identity. My passion in this field is supporting with children and youth to build their own identities they can be proud of despite the barriers they face.

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