All posts filed under: Food, Sports & Miscellaneous

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, …

Travel Gems: Phonhong, Vientiane

Greetings, travelers! Around 70km north of Vientiane lies the capital of Vientiane Province, Phonhong. It’s usually not even a blip on the tourist radar. It looks much like any other highway junction town; a few petrol stations, a market, and a handful of noodle stalls. But slow down, dig a little deeper, and you will find some fascinating things. To the west and south of the city lies the expansive Phou Phanang National Protected Area. Due to high levels of encroachment and fruit and rubber plantations, it’s now just a National Protected Area in name only. It is marked with large expanses of sandstone escarpment, hiding a couple of treasures for our visit today. Laos’ Grand Canyon View this post on Instagram Self-portrait at the Lao Grand Canyon #laos #grandcanyon #selfie #phonhong A post shared by Jason Rolan (@jasonrolan) on Feb 27, 2018 at 1:46am PST View this post on Instagram Buddha’s Grotto #laos #shotsofwats #phonhong #mekongmoments A post shared by Jason Rolan (@jasonrolan) on Feb 28, 2018 at 4:14am PST View this post on …