“Within the human body and the body of a book, the appendix is considered extraneous. This is not unlike the personal and historical trauma buried in cultural memories. In lucid moments of stress or pain, this organ and its unread cultural histories push their way into significance, carrying weight on an overlooked past, present and future.”
Over the weekend, Hmong Story 40 launched at a United Way in Fresno. Hmong Story 40 is a California state-wide project whose mission it is to collect and curate Hmong and Hmong American artifacts, documents, and oral histories related to Hmong migration from Asia to the United States, and to create an exhibit to showcase in a museum by 2015.
The project will be broken into four phases to document each step of the community’s migration: “Life in Laos”, “Laos & The Secret War”, “Thailand Refugee Camps” and “California”. In addition to histories, Hmong Story 40 is planning to add artistic components, including visual expressions of the Hmong experience and displays exploring Hmong and Hmong American fashion.
This project sounds both necessary and fascinating. The Hmong experience remains woefully under-explored and under-celebrated both within the AAPI community and the larger American cultural landscape. I really look forward to seeing this exhibit open next year. But, Hmong Story 40 needs your help for it to happen.
After the jump, check out a video, and the many ways you can participate: