Thursday, September 30, 2010

Article in Star Tribune: Living in war's shadow

A good article on the upcoming Legacies of War and Refugee Nation events at Intermedia Arts this month came out in the Star Tribune this week. We were also listed as an A-List event by the City Pages, so thanks for that.
There are a few parts that should probably be clarified including: A figure of 25,000 is given for the community estimate of Lao, while Hmong are considered between 60,000 to 70,000+, along with an indeterminate number of Tai Dam, Khmu and Mien, among other possibilities in Minnesota. Laos, as a nation the size of the United Kingdom (or Utah), has over 160 cultures living within its borders and nearby, so this can understandably get confusing sometimes.

Also, the 8 eyed bug I refer to is one of dozens of types of UXO remaining in Laos, particularly The BLU-42/B WAAPM (Wide-Area Anti-Personnel Mine) a spherical anti-personnel fragmentation minelet. This was fitted with several surface and trip-wire sensors for detonation, an anti-tampering device, and a self-destruct system.

You can see an example of this particular cluster bomb at the exhibit, thanks to Jim Harris who helped to provide several examples for us.

Also a clarification has been requested: The refugee camps were located outside of Laos, including Thailand. The biggest waves of refugees arrived in the 1980s, however, there are some who arrived in limited numbers during the 1970s. (including myself).

A big thanks is owed to Channapha Khamvongsa who has been instrumental in raising awareness of UXO in the community through Legacies of War. Please be sure to check them out. 

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