After a year of conferences, trade fairs, and research trips, TAEC is hitting the road again in late October for a handicraft development trip. As a part of our sustainable livelihoods and advocacy programme, this trip will expand our work with rural artisans in Vientiane Province. In Khasi District, we will reunite with a Mien community we’ve worked with for 3 years to develop new designs and provide additional training in quality control, using their traditional skills to create products suitable for a foreign market. We will also be making our first trip to Vang Vieng to visit a Tai Lao community of weavers to develop a new collaboration.
School is out but the opportunity for children to learn about the ethnic diversity of Laos continues! We are planning a short summer programme for local Lao school children filled with fun games, cultural field trips, hands-on craft workshops nearby, and a Do-It-Yourself children’s museum on the final day. As a part of our upcoming summer program we will be spending some time on the first morning introducing students to the purposes and contents of museums and the relevance to their futures. Our staff have helped to develop new activities that explore diversity from a variety of perspectives both within Laos and around the world.
New project empowers minority women to share stories through digital media
TAEC is busily preparing for the opening of a special temporary exhibit in our cafe that highlights a recent project we've been working on with PhotoForward empowering young ethnic minority women (many of whom sell in the night market) to share the stories of their communities. The second, and most recent, phase of this project develops more advanced photography skills of a small group of women from the first phase and introduces them to basic research techniques. The women have been exploring topics of their choosing, from shamanism and polygamy, to single parenthood and festival food preparation.
This is the continuation of the first phase of the project which finished in November, in which young women were given cameras, taught basic photography skills, and asked to document women at work in their communities. The results insightfully showed the strength of women in Lao society. To view their images, visit the online gallery.
This project is a part of TAEC’s ethnic youth internship program, developing ethnic community researchers to document their own cultures. We hope to expand this project into more remote areas of Laos and to develop a completely community-curated exhibition partnering with our community researchers.
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http://www.taeclaos.org and www.lpfund.org
Lao People's Democratic Republic