Filipinos in Laos released in e-book

A new e-book version of 2015’s Filipinos in Laos has been released on Amazon. The book addresses the little-documented period between 1957-1975 when nearly a thousand Filipinos were a part of Lao culture. It’s available for $12.00

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The Naked And Famous’ Alisa Xayalith Interviewed at The Clash

Alisa Xayalith is  not an academic, a scholar or a politician, and was recently featured in an interview on The Clash: “I am an artist. I sing and write songs in a rock band from New Zealand called The Naked And Famous. I am also a daughter of refugee parents who risked their lives seeking safety from war. I will be forever grateful for the quality of life I have been granted because of the lengths they were willing to go to protect their family. I would like to share my family story with you.” Be sure to read the whole story. It’s very inspiring. Thanks go to The Clash for letting her tell her journey!

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Using Art To Explore Culture with Saymoukda Vongsay

Saymoukda Vongsay was recently highlighted at the COMPAS blog in Minnesota on the subject of using art to explore culture. “My artist and refugee identities are confluent with one another. It’s been almost ten years of self interrogation but I’ve come to realize: Making art for the sake of presenting something surface-beautiful is not enough – it has to be interrogative – of yourself, of your audience. As someone whose elders were killed and silenced by the oppressive communists for speaking their minds, every time I take up space, I am pushing back and being my elders’ radical dream.” Be sure to also catch her interview at Twin Cities Geek as well as in the Wake where she’s called Minnesota’s most prolific Lao artist!

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MOVIES AND SOCIAL MOVEMENTS WITH SYSAMONE PHAPHON OF FILMHERO

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Founding Stories recently interviewed tech founder, Sysamone Phaphon of FilmHero (formerly Groupeezz).

A self-described “non-techie”, Sysamone began with the encouragement of her younger brother, and after attending workshops and networking widely, eventually founded FilmHero, “a film networking app for movie buffs, change agents, and creative folks of all stripes, which was based on an idea her younger brother had for creating a social platform for moviegoers.” Be sure to check out the whole article.

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Legacies of War opens at Tinney Contemporary

This weekend the Legacies of War exhibition by Sisavanh Phouthavong opened up in Tennessee at the Tinney Contempoary Gallery. Sisavanh Phouthavong is one of the first professional Lao American visual artists and educators of her generation. The opening reception will be held on March 4th. The Tinney Contemporary Gallery is located at 237 5th Avenue North, Nashville, Tennessee 37219. They specialize in collectable modern art by established local, regional, national, and international artists. They present a series of rotating exhibitions throughout the year and participate in the First Saturday Art Crawl on the first Saturday of each month. This new body of work is inspired by the organization Legacies of War (legaciesofwar.org) whose mission “is to raise awareness about the history of the Vietnam War-era bombing in Laos and advocate for the clearance of unexploded bombs, to provide a space for healing the wounds of war, and to create greater hope for a future of peace.”

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Poem: “Resistance” by Addy Biggers

Resistance

So that moment…
When your conscience fell
Alternative facts immigrated to your heart to dwell
Too harsh? Well…
Just.wait.a.minute
‘cause I’m far from finished
Fit and built for distance
My resistance
Is empowered by love
From Above
Void of insanity
The core of my Christianity…
Humanity
All for one and one for all
Leaves no place for bans or walls
If I recall…
This land was made for you and me
You see
From sea to shining sea
Beacons of light for those fleeing, freeing
Simply being
Who God ordained them to be
Shall not be diminished
We.are.far.from.finished
Why can’t you see…
We are better together than apart
My heart…
Is aching, breaking
Between the cracks
Let my light shine through
Because for you…
I pray for peace
Let you release
Your anger, your hatred, your fear
Hear, here
Clearly!
This isn’t merely
My time to string together words that rhyme
Instead…
From my heart and head
These are my truths
With my conscience in tact
I reject alternative facts
Adopted by reprobates
Whining
Opining
Defining
America to fit their comfort and cause
Pause…
Let that sink in
Friends
Without and within, trust
This fight against injustice is a must
Humanity is at stake
We shall not forsake
The fight
Our rights
Do as the Lord requires
And when you tire
Call me on
I am fit and built for distance
#Resistance

-Addy Biggers, Refugee, American, Spoken Word Artist

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Calling Southeast Asian Youth: SEAD presents Selfies, Society + Being Southeast Asian

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Calling all Southeast Asian youth in Minnesota! On March 11-12th, come explore Southeast Asian history, heritage, identity and society with us in our mini weekend workshops packed with knowledge, multimedia and a safe space that’s yours to own. Free registration, free food and a stipend at end of completion. Open to ages 13-18.

Workshop details and registration here: http://bit.ly/2kSTQUY

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