All posts filed under: News

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, …

A win for incoming Ohio senator Tina Maharath is a win for the Lao American community

Coming from an unexpected win as senator for Ohio’s 3rd district, Democrat Tina Maharath is relishing her success as she travels throughout southeast Asia to reconnect with family. Many are calling Maharath an underdog as she won despite unlikely circumstances. Unofficial Nov. 8 midterm election votes showed Maharath’s opponent, veteran Republican lawmaker Anne Gonzales, in the lead by just a few hundred votes and it seemed as if the race was headed toward a recount. But after Franklin County election officials counted provisional and late absentee ballots more than two weeks later, Maharath took home the win by about 705 votes. “It doesn’t feel real right now,” Maharath said in a Facebook video announcement from Bangkok, Thailand. “I couldn’t have done this without everyone’s support. Thank you for all the contributions from all over the world, everyone who voted for me, everyone who helped raise me, everyone who was there for me when I wanted to give up…” Maharath, a 27-year-old financial analyst from Canal Winchester, pulled ahead when the odds were stacked against her. She had …