All posts filed under: education

On Creating “Brand New” Art Spaces for Lao Americans

I am elated Little Laos’ers. Why? Because even after a week, people are still talking about the Brand New: Ohio 2017 Artist Showcase that was this past Saturday (November 4th). What is Brand New: Ohio? It’s a project that I and some fellow artists and community-builders here in Columbus developed to give Southeast Asian American and Pacific Islander American artists a creative platform – and we decided to make that platform a gallery art show. Why Southeast Asian and Pacific Islander Americans? And why an art show? Well, society often ignores SEA/PI Americans in the realms of entertainment, social initiatives, and popular consciousness because we lack access to most Pan-Asian American platforms. Asian Americans are already overlooked, so it’s a double burden for SEA/PI who typically have lower populations and higher rates of socio-economic challenges compared to other Asian American groups. The US also does a horrible job at teaching global geography and world history to kids, so that helps people ignore our histories and cultures. Because of the long list of barriers, we knew we …

PRIDE and LGBTQIA Advocacy in Laos: An Interview with Anan Bouapha

In continuing our recognition of LGBTQIA (Lesbian, Gay, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual) History Month, I interviewed Anan Bouapha, a well-known advocate in the LGBTQIA community in Vientiane, Laos. Anan is part of an active and increasingly visible LGBTQIA community that continues to engage Lao society and international partners. As president of the nongovernmental organization, Proud to be us Laos, Anan played an instrumental role in organizing the first large-scale LGBT Pride event at the U.S. Embassy in Vientiane back in 2012. Born and raised in the capital of Vientiane, Anan continues his advocacy efforts throughout Laos and lectures about his work internationally. While currently based in Paris for graduate studies, he talks about the current state of LGBTQIA issues, stereotypes and misconceptions about the community in Laos and that his favorite Lao dish is mok pa. Was there a particular moment that compelled you to get into LGBTQIA advocacy in Laos? We’ve been trying to partner with the government to help reduce HIV/AIDS infection among LGBTQI community members in stigma and discrimination based on gender …