The annual event was organised by RMIT University Vietnam in partnership with the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), the Vietnam National Institute of Culture and Arts Studies (VICAS) and COLAB Vietnam.

Themed ‘Creative Future’, the VFCD 2021 featured talks, workshops, exhibitions, a podcast series, contests, and various online activities and discussions in both Vietnamese and English, without entrance fees. Most of the activities held within the framework of this year’s programme were held online via the festival’s social media channels and other digital platforms to help prevent and control the COVID-19 pandemic.

The festival kicked off with an online community art campaign titled ‘Tomorrow: To the Future’ on Instagram and the event’s official website. Conveying the message “What will you create to send to the future?”, each image sent to the program represented an idea and a piece of a colourful mosaic-style artwork of VFCD 2021. The campaign will run until the end of 2021.

Another highlight of the VFCD 2021 was the ‘Living with Folklore’ talk series, which were initiated by the Vietnam Japan University and the Vietnam Cultural Initiatives. The series gathered the participation of Cheo 48h project, the Centre for Vietnam’s Intangible Cultural Heritage, and the Folklore Culture Club under the Vietnam National University – Hanoi.

During the event, researchers, experts, art practitioners, and those who work in folklore culture exchanged their views on and explored the relationship between folklore and the cultural industry, thus clarifying the role and value of folklore in people’s lives and livelihoods. They also discussed the possibilities and challenges in developing products and services inspired from folklore materials as well as methods to promote folklore in the cultural industry.

Two in-person tours exploring Hanoi’s Old Quarter were held as part of the festival, inviting Vietnamese and foreign visitors to walk along the time-honoured streets of Hanoi and learn more about the culture and heritage of Vietnam’s capital city.

Participants pose for a group photo during a tour exploring Hanoi’s Old Quarter which was held within the framework of the Vietnam Festival of Creativity & Design 2021 (Photo:

Vice-President of Friends of Vietnam Heritage Stella Ciorra took the role as the tour guide of the city walks, during which she prepared many documentary photos and documents on life in Hanoi in the past and present to share about the history of the city with the participants.

In addition, a wide range of many seminars and dialogues were organised within the framework of the VFCD 2021, touching on many interesting topics such as digital archives of culture and art, creative and practical transformations of sustainable fashion, the future of sustainable design in Vietnam.

There were also seminars on copyright, cinematography, and education-training in the post-COVID-19 era, as well as discussions about the vision, trends, cultural identity, and future opportunities for creative industries in Vietnam.

As the initiator of the festival, RMIT University Vietnam hosted around 10 events, including a forum on art and design archive in Vietnam, an ‘edit-a-thon’ to increase the quality of content on Wikipedia about Vietnamese art and culture, workshops on sustainable fashion and drawing, among others.

Professor Julia Gaimster, Dean of School of Communication & Design at RMIT University elaborated: “Creative industries are facing new challenges – the post-COVID world won’t be the same and we all need to think about what the ‘new normal’ might be.”

“We need creative thinkers and innovators to find these solutions, so the festival aims to be a forum where some of these challenges can be discussed, and possible solutions can be identified,” she said.

Meanwhile, Culture Programme Coordinator of the UNESCO Hanoi Office Pham Thi Thanh Huong expressed her hope that this year’s VFCD will continue engaging with an even more diverse community thanks to the combined talents of all the participants, especially young people with their digital communication acumen and creativity.