All posts filed under: Laos

MIA Erasure, My Reflection

To much fanfare, the exhibit Artists Respond: American Art and the Vietnam War, 1965-1975 opened in Minnesota at the Minneapolis Institute of Art this month and will run until January 5th, 2020. It’s billed as a way to look at “the innovative ways artists talked back, often in the streets and other public venues. The exhibition presents nearly 100 works by 58 of the period’s most visionary, provocative artists.” For Southeast Asians of Vietnamese, Hmong, Laotian, and Cambodian descent, and active military veterans, you can even see the exhibit for free. It’s been a long time since I’ve been given free admission to an art exhibit to witness the complete erasure of my community’s perspective and reactions to the Vietnam War, the Secret War, and the Killing Fields. For Minnesotans, who arguably have one of the most deeply tangled relationships with Southeast Asia than almost any other US state, this ought to be a stirring and profound exhibit: one filled with so many heartbreaking memories and reflections on themes and issues addressed over four decades ago, …

Reflection Upon a White Lotus

In quiet reflection grows the white lotus Unfolding within and without on Nam Ou River Blossoming into perfection Surface stilled Motionless Ceasing to flow away in radiant expectation Shimmering Dazzling petals amongst the creative cosmos Earnestly waiting for the enlightenment of  a thoughtful divine breath Kaysone Syonesa, is a Lao American theatre artist and playwright with a BA in Theatre Arts from the University of Minnesota. She has a theatre background as a performing artist/actor, director, set/costume designer and playwright. She has performed with various theatre companies in the Twin Cities with recent productions from Pangea World Theater, Teatro del Pueblo and Green T Productions. She has also directed and devised original theatre work called Sticky Rice Drama with artists and youth of color as a platform to uplift diverse and underrepresented voices in the Twin Cities. Kaysone has strengths in bringing communities together to create space and devise work to uncover and imaginatively tell stories that reflect the human experiences. In the past she was inspired to raise the artistic voices of women of …