All posts tagged: Writing

Lao America’s 2017 Year in Review

What a year?! Perhaps propelled and fueled by covfefe, it really felt like the personal and the public occupied some blurred lines in 2017. This year showed us what happens when you throw enough water particles into a vat of hot oil the size of a planet. Is anyone left innocent and unshaken? To those that can make that claim…share that medication before it’s re-allocated to the rich! Take a look below and let us know what we might have missed! January After the US Presidential Election slammed to a close, one of our staffers at Little Laos on the Prairie felt it prudent to address the shocking results…and its massive implications. Not surprisingly, we weren’t the only ones shocked with the results. The Laotian Times also addressed the elections. On January 24, “A Great Place to Have a War: America in Laos and the Birth of a Military CIA” by Joshua Kurlantzick made its way to print. U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Southeast Asia W. Patrick Murphy visited the Lao PDR on Jan 16 and 17. He outlined several …

Lao American Writers Summit and making a case for the arts

Seven years ago Catzie Vilayphonh, Bryan Thao Worra and I co-founded the Lao American Writers Summit. Lead by Bryan we were able to raise funds and support from foundations, state agencies, individuals, and businesses. LAWS could not have happened without that initial support. In order to understand the significance of LAWS, you have to first understand the circumstances of Laotian communities. We came here as refugees. Survivors of the Secret War in Laos – a proxy conflict of the Vietnam War. Anti-communist Laotians fought on the side of the CIA. Thousands of Laotians were sent to re-education/labor camps, the lucky ones only saw their friends executed. My father, uncles, and grandfather escaped labor camps. After the fall of Long Chieng, an exodus of Laotians fled Laos, sought safety at refugee camps in neighboring countries. Since the late 70s, there are approximately 240,000 Laotian Americans nationally with roughly 12,000 calling Minnesota home. Unlike many of our APIA artist communities, Laotian artists more or less work in isolation as they are likely the only Laotian artist in …