As Laos opens up after decades of war and isolation, a new generation of artists are telling stories of resilience, strength and beauty
When he was a child, Bounpaul Phothyzan saw his neighbour get his hand blown off by a buried live bomb.
It was a “terrifying” image of carnage that would stay with him as an adult and artist. In 2012 he started taking photographs, interviewing people and researching the damage done by the unexploded ordinances that have killed or maimed more than 20,000 people since the “secret war” in Laos ended 40 years ago. Between 1964–1973, the small south-east Asian country became the most heavily bombed country in history per capita, with more than 2m tons of bombs dropped in a CIA-led mission that was aimed at blocking Vietnamese supply lines. It is estimated there are still 80m unexploded bombs in the ground, with farmers risking their lives every day to work in mine-laden fields to feed their families – and with children being the worst affected.Continue reading...
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