Marie-Rose Phan-Lê: Women Authoring Change

By Hedgebrook Staff

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Categories: Women Authoring Change,

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Marie-Rose_Phan-Le_200x250Marie-Rose Phan-Lê is a writer and a Hedgebrook alumna. We asked her about her work and about being a Woman Authoring Change.

 

Tell us about your work as a writerdo you write in multiple genres/forms?

One of my teachers told me, “A writer is a writer is a writer. Write as often as you can in as many ways as you can.” Taking his words to heart, I write screenplays, non-fiction, marketing material, promotional videos, poetry, and magazine articles. Each form challenges me in different ways, but I always make it my goal to be authentic in my expression. Even though many people told me growing up that words can’t hurt, as a writer, I know that they can and I also know that they have the magical power to inspire, uplift, and catalyze change.

 

Do you consider yourself an activist?

I’m not an activist in the classic sense. You wouldn’t find me standing in a picket line or shouting through a bullhorn at a rally, but I consider myself an artivist—a filmmaker and author whose intention is for her work to bring awareness to certain issues and to create a call to action that niggles in the back of someone’s mind and in the fore of their hearts, so that they may be moved to take a look or take a stand.

 

Would you characterize your writing as activist? Why or why not?

(Please see previous response)

In my current book, Talking Story: One Woman’s Quest to Preserve Ancient Spiritual and Healing Traditions, I hope to raise awareness about the loss of our collective pharmacopoeia—humanity’s medicine cabinet. In allowing our medicinal plants to become extinct due to the destruction of the environment or letting the knowledge of healers and spiritual teachers to disappear due to ethnocide and globalization, we are limiting our options for health, growth, and wellbeing. We are also losing our ability to find creative solutions as we lose our perceptual diversity—a term coined by anthropologist Dr. Tara Lumpkin that refers to the variety of ways different cultures and individuals see the world.

 

What impact do you hope your writing will have in the world?

I believe in the healing power of narrative, so if I can’t stop the rain-forests from being bulldozed or the healers from passing away, or the mantras from being forgotten, I hope that they can live on in the hearts of my audience, whether through my book, film, or any other venue through which I can share these stories. I also hope my stories will inspire others to get a sense of possibility for themselves and take their own hero’s or heroine’s journey, and for us as a whole to reach for the greatest potential of humanity.

 

What’s the best feedback you’ve received from a reader?

What an amazing gift you’ve given us. We got to feel a part of your soul through the book.

It shows us how when you live in your purpose and you walk in your purpose amazing things can happen that you never could’ve expected. The ripple effect is another part of the book. We feel the interconnected quality to each other, as well as, to the world. I didn’t expect it to show how much we are a part of where we come from.

 

About Marie-Rose Phan-Lê:

Marie-Rose Phan-Lê (pron. fawn-lay) has more than twenty years’ experience in film and television production. She has traveled extensively for various projects, including her award-winning documentary film, Talking Story, the companion to the book, Talking Story: One Woman’s Quest to Preserve Ancient Spiritual and Healing Traditions. Marie-Rose is the founder of Healing Planet Project, a non-profit organization whose mission is the preservation and presentation of spiritual and healing traditions. She is currently the chief operating officer and creative director at High Impact, Inc. Marie-Rose was born in Vietnam, emigrated to France, and later to the United States, and currently lives in Hawaii.

Marie-Rose will be in the Seattle area in March as part of her book tour for Talking Story: One Woman’s Quest to Preserve Ancient Spiritual and Healing Traditions. Join her March 25th at Elliott Bay Book Company, March 26th at Third Place Books, and March 27th at Vashon Bookshop.

Learn more on her website about these and other upcoming stops on her tour!

 


 

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Hedgebrook supports visionary women writers whose stories and ideas shape our culture now and for generations to come. The opinions expressed here are not necessarily representative of the opinions of Hedgebrook, its staff or board members.

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