All posts tagged: Lao American Writers Summit

#BeLaod Creative Highlight: Thongxy Phansopha

For this #TBT, I’m recalling some moments that remain in my mind since gathering in San Diego for our 3rd Lao American Writers Summit. As I perused the inspiring and mesmerizing gallery of over 10 artists who sent in their artwork, I came across a young artist from Fresno named Thongxy Phansopha; who was furiously putting up what looked like a broomstick on the wall. Thongxy showcased two pieces from his “California Dreaming Transplant Series”. We had a quick chat about his pieces, how social justice reflects his work, and growing up Lao American. “It’s not a broomstick, it’s pieces of palm trees. Palm trees aren’t native to NorCal but it’s prevalent in Southeast Asia. While my parents came here as runaway transplants, I’m also here as a transplant on stolen land.”  “The one on the right is called Chasing Waterfalls. Because, TLC. It’s a tribute to my sister. It’s a story about Lao American youth. People who get lost and don’t make it in the American Dream. It’s that moment when you look in …

A Community for Us, by Us: Reflections on Lao Writers Summit 2016

What a weekend. This year’s Lao American Writers Summit (LAWS) was momentous in so many ways. Taking place in San Diego, California from May 27-28, 2016, it was the first time the Summit was held outside of Minnesota, the first Summit to take place in consecutive years, and the largest gathering by far. People came in from all over the U.S. to learn and connect. Although the event was held over a weekend, the Summit officially kicked off festivities on May 12 with the opening of the official LAWS gallery titled “Intersectionalities,” curated by Catzie Vilayphonh and Sayon Syprasoeuth, featuring artwork from various Lao American artists from across the nation. The gallery and the Summit took place in the beautiful Centro Cultural de La Raza, which was the perfect venue for sharing art, making connections, and telling stories. If I were to break down some key observations from this year’s Summit, they would be: There is an ongoing need and desire for a space where Lao Americans can connect and express themselves. I attended the …