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Seven Years in Laos - A Teachers Learning Journey

BY JULIA MITCHELL
@ VOL 7 ON SEP 14, 2017

The often quoted maxim, “I went out as a teacher and came back a student” so aptly pertains to Julia Mitchell ‘s life in Laos, the country she has made her home. Embracing the culture and language, and forming lasting bonds with friends, transformed her stay from one year to seven. Julia’s vibrant story is infused with humour and pathos as she tells why this country has won her heart.

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All the World´s a Stage

BY RACHAEL PHIASANAXAY
@ VOL 7 ON SEP 14, 2017

In this context Rachael Phiasananaxy is very much at home. A belief in the power of theatre, to change lives and build communities, has been central to her life-long involvement in this diffuse and multifaceted art. Her story resonates with the beliefs and diversity at the heart of her theatre experiences.

 

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Let your Heart be Water

BY SANDRA BODE
@ VOL 7 ON SEP 14, 2017

Sandra invites the audience, at the conclusion of her presentation, to focus on her eyes and remain so. There is a palpable silence in the room. We remain fixed.  This demonstration of  how to connect deeply with another resonates with the belief that Sandra holds, “magic happens simply through holding space for each other and allowing ourselves to connect deeply”. NamChai Community Center Vientiane, founded by Sandra, is such a space.

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Vientianale on the Road

BY HELENE OUVRARD
@ VOL 7 ON SEP 14, 2017

When the Vientianale film-festival turns off the lights for another year, so begins 'Vientianale on the Road'. Helene Ouvard takes us on the road less travelled through Lao provinces from Bokeo to Champassak. Stopping at villages and schools, where make-shift screens are set up, or in reclaimed halls, we witness the sheer excitement of those taking part in a film workshop, or enjoying the best of recent Lao films.

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My Place in Vientiane

BY KATHRYN SWEET
@ VOL 7 ON SEP 14, 2017

Kathryn Sweet, a long-term resident of Vientiane, considers her relationships with people, places, and memories as she locates her place in this community. Those who inhabit her everyday life (including cats), those remembered and encountered, provide a sense of belonging.

 

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The pleasures of road running in Pyongyang

BY VERA SCHOLZ
@ VOL 7 ON SEP 14, 2017

Vera Scholz’s evocation of the 'pleasures’ associated with running in North Korea don’t exactly fit the stereotypical lens through which we are encouraged to view this somewhat secretive country. As this story unravels we learn the running event is secondary to Vera’s “self-delusional quest to look behind the scenes”, as she so succinctly expresses it. This captivating narrative is embedded in every image.

 

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Matryoshka's Secret

BY CRISTINA SZEMERE ENDERLIN
IN VIENTIANE

Cristina Szemere Enderlin weaves us a story that takes us into the world of a young woman coming through adolescence. This talk is a true feast for the senses with each hand-painted slide illuminating the beautiful story of this young woman. Listen as she moves from spaces inside her mind, to the world around her, through memories and into forests of fear and fantasy.

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Global Peace

BY MICHAEL BODDINGTON
IN VIENTIANE

Michael Boddington shared with us his vision for a peaceful future. He explained his standpoint through his many experiences, specifically through his work to eradicate the remnants of war that are the unexploded ordinances that continue to cause devastation throughout south-east asia and especially Laos. It was inspiring to hear his solutions to the problem of war and poignant in that he asked us to 'start with ourselves'.

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Journey of a Lao Entrepreneur

BY KEOVISOUK DALASANE
IN VIENTIANE

Keovisouk Dalasane’s presentation took us on his journey as a Lao entrepreneur. He told us of the changing economic climate in Laos and specifically in Vientiane the capital. He explained how he recognised the need for a unified jobs board and thus created 108.jobs, the most well known job site in Laos. Keo encouraged other Lao nationals to get into business and spoke about how he has been able to create jobs for Lao people and give back to the community.

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Riding the Buffalo

BY DAVID SMITH
@ VOL 6 ON MAY 25, 2017

David Smith used his incredible images gathered over 15 years of living in Laos, as well as his great sense of humour, to showcase some special moments in time. For each image David has a story, there are no anonymous characters here. David shows us an intimate vision of Laos life through the lens of an expat and admirer.

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In search of Wildcats in NEPL

BY AKCHOUSANH RASPHONE
@ VOL 6 ON MAY 25, 2017

Akchousanh Rasphone gives us the rare gift of being able to see deep into the Lao jungle. Akchou’s research took her in search of wild cats in the Nam Et-Phou Louey National Protected Area. She set “camera traps”, activated by movement, to record the species in the area. Laos is not a huge country, and everyone in the audience was astounded at the incredible animals that roam not too far from us in the North - from large and small wildcats, to bears and birds and even the sad incidence of poachers - Akchou’s presentation is an educational wonder.

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Print and Trace (impression et souvenir)

BY VIRGINIE FAIVRE DARCIER
@ VOL 6 ON MAY 25, 2017

Virginie Faivre DArcier showed us how she prints dreams. She told us the story of how she takes the intangible and makes it tangible. Her print and exhibition art has been inspired by living in South East Asia for more than 15 years. She shared with us images and objects of significance and beauty in what felt like a behind-the-scenes look at the landscapes and moments that have inspired her printmaking designs.

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