All posts filed under: Media

Notes From An Imagined Future: CTRL+ALT In New York

“How do you imagine your future?” That was the question over 10,000 people were asked over the weekend of November 11-12 in New York as part of the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center’s pop up museum entitled “Ctrl+Alt: A Culture Lab on Imagined Futures.” Visitors met with over 40 local and visiting artists, including Lao American artists Saymoukda Douangphouxay Vongsay and Bryan Thao Worra as they transformed the old Pearl River Mart in New York’s Soho district into a dynamic space for expression and the exchange of ideas. The artists transformed two floors of the old store into an interactive gallery of diverse views on possible futures. As the curators noted “even those who have long been pushed to the margins are the center of someone’s universe.” Saymoukda Douangphouxay Vongsay presented excerpts from her forthcoming play, Kung Fu Zombies vs. Shaman Warrior. Her play will explore trauma, healing, and mental health through the lens of speculative theater. She gave a surreal reading clad in all white, augmented by an evocative animation created by New York-based artist Matty Huynh. Following …

The Possible Realities of Lao America Under a Trump Presidency

This is a series of opinion pieces on the Lao America response to post-elections 2016.  For Lao Americans, the results of this year’s presidential election in many ways didn’t come as a surprise. After all, since our diaspora began over four decades ago, we’ve seen that any number of unusual candidates can rise into public office, such as actors Ronald Reagan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Clint Eastwood, or Jesse Ventura. A good study of civics obliges us to place faith in the electoral college system, designed to ensure small states have an equal vote as much as larger states to preserve the republic. This year the statistics show that a little over 46% of eligible voters did not do so, but Minnesota, at least, came out in higher voter turnout than the national average. We know that our local fellow Southeast Asian and API communities organized to get out the vote and to encourage our fellow Lao to be civically-engaged. For the next four years or so, the Republican party will now be in charge of all …