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Our Mission

Bringing together Lao Americans in continuing their cultural legacy through storytelling and the arts.

saungincamp_lith_wordsThrough online submissions, street portraits and community workshops, we're documenting generational tales about life before, during and after Laos to America, to be shared through our online digital archive. Lao from all over the world can submit their own stories through words, pictures, and video. Partnered with the Lao Diaspora Project, all stories welcomed.
monksatexhibit_lith_wordsA curated selection of stories will be displayed in a gallery installation where visitors can also participate. Also included a Legacies of War exhibit with historic illustrations by Lao villagers which were used as evidence to stop the Secret War bombings in Laos and advocate for the removal of the unexploded ordnances still remaining.
bryanspeaking_lith_wordsA showcase will highlight Lao American artists, from traditional folk musicians to literary playwrights to fashion designers. The artists will also lead teaching workshops on how they represent their heritage in their works and discuss issues we face in preserving our cultural history and what it means for the future of Lao America.

 

Please, take off your shoes and join us.

Indeed a culture survives when it has enough confidence in its past and enough say in its future to maintain its spirit and essence through all the changes it will inevitably undergo.

Wade Davis


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Philly, May 2015

Mark Your Calendar!

Laos In the House will be presenting national artists for the very first time in Philadelphia. Lao Americans of various backgrounds from across the country will exhibit work in mediums of poetry, theater, film and fashion, reflecting over 40 years in diaspora. This integration of storytelling with art and performance will engage community members to share their own personal stories, while adding their voices to the larger collective narrative that makes us uniquely Lao American.

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When you come from something called "The Secret War" you don't get to tell your story the way others can because half of what you might tell may have been propaganda or else classified secret.

--Bryan Thao Worra

The Stories Project


Your Story, Our History.

The history of Lao America is one that hasn't been properly documented. The aftermath of Laos' Civil War, Vietnam War and U.S. Secret War in Laos makes that chapter hard to remember - or easy to forget - depending on who you ask. And while living in the U.S. has given us the opportunity for new lives, future generations are left asking questions about a past they can't find in their parents photo album nor their school textbooks. We've been here for 40 years, yet many are unaware of who we are.

Green card pictures. Elementary grade translations. Your summer "job". Overnight gambling parties. That gang phase. Making up words in "Englao". How many peppers you can take in your papaya salad.

As Lao we know we are different, growing up here was a constant reminder of that. Some of us settled pretty easily with American culture, while others held firm to continue age-old traditions. That was always our struggle, balancing our Lao heritage with our American identity. Regardless of our outcomes, our names, or our citizenship status, we remain proud of who we are even if we didn't quite fully know where, when or how exactly we got here. Each of our stories is unique yet revealingly reflects the Lao American diaspora that makes us, khon Lao.

Laos In The House invites you to share your story with us, to be shared in a digital archive, and so that others can learn and be inspired too. Because if you don't tell it like it's supposed to, then who will?

Submit Your Story

Thank You

Laos In The House would not be possible without the generosity of our sponsors and support of our partners. We thank them and would like to acknowledge them for their contributions. Check 'em out!

Knight_Foundation
 

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Contact us

Send us an email using the contact form below!

Get in touch

Got any ideas or suggestions on how to help spread the word about Laos In The House? Want to get involved? Got a story to tell? We'd love to hear from you!