The diaspora of Laotians living outside of the country of Laos spans all over, from France to Australia, Argentina and the United States. This is a result of war - three to be exact, all happening simultaneously: the Lao Civil War, the neighboring Vietnam War and perhaps the most devastating, the U.S. Secret War in Laos - a military campaign that averaged a planeload of bombs every 8 minutes, for 24 hours for 9 years, giving Laos the title of the most bombed country in the world. What makes Lao Americans so unique then, is their experience living in the very country that nearly destroyed their own homeland.
Artists have frequently been referred to as voices for the people, and their work often utilized as tools for social change. Highlighting artists who are creating work gives us a chance to shine a spotlight on the Lao American experience. Conducting one-on-one interviews and sharing online submissions through the mediums of words, pictures and videos, we get personal accounts of an overlooked history. Whether traditional khaen musician or contemporary neo illustrationist painter, whether refugee survivor, descendant of the royal Lao family or adopted son of a former soldier, we believe that all stories are important to the narrative of Lao America.