Janit Von Saechao
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Tender Table.JPG

 Photo credit: Vy Pham

 

Collaborations

 
 

#iumienwomenmoversandshakers Feature with Sacramento Iu Mien Association (SACIMA)

“…I believe in transformative traditions. I have to because as people of the diaspora, we were forced to readapt and reimagine. At one point, we had no word for giraffe in our vocabulary. That changed when we arrived in the U.S. ‘Maaz jaang ndaauv’. If we can invent words for things that we never previously knew existed, I believe we have the ability to transform our thinking around gender, sexuality, and even mental health and disability. Especially when it means making space for the existences of countless people throughout our ancestry to finally be seen for who they are.”

Read the full interview


Dreams Detained, in her Words: The effects of detention and deportation on Southeast Asian American women and families

A joint report with Southeast Asian Resource Action Center (SEARAC) and National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF) that tells the stories of Southeast Asian American women whose family members have experienced detention and deportation.

Access the REport

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She/They

“…They are my chain smoking Khmu aunties in Laos
who puff tobacco through hand rolled cigarettes,
laughing on the sides of dusty Luang Prabang roads
at the colonizers with cameras who won’t leave Them alone...”

Originally published: Little Laos On The Prairie


circa ‘96 - Location: Hilltop Mall/Richmond, CA

circa ‘96 - Location: Hilltop Mall/Richmond, CA

Visiting Dad

“I see him in the buzzing crowd of big men.
Dressed in his usual, all blue.
His skin is deep brown from days spent in the sun.
He beams his bright smile and waves.
It’s Dad.”

Originally Published: LIttle Laos On The Prairie


Circa Early 1990’s - Saechao Family Original Photo

Circa Early 1990’s - Saechao Family Original Photo

To Khmu and Mien Women When The World Says You Aren’t Enough

“…Fingerprints a map of your peoples’ past
Wrinkled palms show the mountains and
valleys that surrounded your great grandmother’s village
Hair a waterfall down your back,
pouring life like those in your mother’s land…”

Originally Published: Little Laos On The Prairie


My Grandmother’s Garden

“…Grandma’s hands always made things grow.
From my round, brown body
to her backyard jungle

She fed us through that garden with
chive scrambled eggs after long days at school
pickled plums and fish sauce drenched fingertips in the summer
bamboo shoots and
bitter orange berries and
flowering cilantro…”

Originally Published: LIttle Laos On THe pRairie

Ong Tai’s Rake   Photo credit: JVS

Ong Tai’s Rake
Photo credit: JVS


sf woMEN’S mARCH  - Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017  lOCATION: cIVIC CENTER, sAN fRANCISCO

sf woMEN’S mARCH - Saturday, Jan. 21, 2017
lOCATION: cIVIC CENTER, sAN fRANCISCO

We, Ceremony - Spotlight

“ …I think I do this through existing authentically and honestly as I am able. And by returning to what I've always inherently known as a result of my indigeneity. I carry my ancestors with me and in doing so, I live in their light and through their stories of survival. Even still, it took me a very long time to realize that the only true honor I could ever offer my people is through first honoring myself. And sometimes that has looked like living in resistance to the very same traditions that have informed our ways of life for centuries, like our heavily-fortified systems of patriarchy and gender-based violence…

Read the full interview


Spoken Words: Hopes and History Passed Forward

For me, storytelling has and always will be an inherent form of resistance; a way for me to bring myself, my people, my ancestors all into a room with me. It is an evolving tradition, one that has been passed down yet continues to transform as we unceasingly return to it, generation after generation. In the ways of our people, we are still telling our stories through song, through performance, through craft. We are also adopting new ways of storytelling, such as social media and through platforms such as this.

oRIGINALLY pUBLISHED: lITTLE lAOS oN tHE prAIRIE

maa’s wisdom  cIRCA 2013 - lOCATION: mUANG sING, lUANG nAMTHA, lAOS pHOTO cREDIT: jvs

maa’s wisdom
cIRCA 2013 - lOCATION: mUANG sING, lUANG nAMTHA, lAOS
pHOTO cREDIT: jvs


Tender Table   - February 10, 2019 -  Location: Yale Union, Portland, Oregon

Tender Table - February 10, 2019 -
Location: Yale Union, Portland, Oregon

Living Iu-Mien and Khmu: The Route Forward, Back Through Time

“…In the search for my Mien and Khmu cultural traditions, I have found that there is also ample room for me to honor my own. Nowadays I make it a point to bring my Khmu-ness and my Mien-ness into every space I enter. I cook Khmu and Mien food all in the same meal; I steam sticky rice, roast eggplants for jeow, while simmering lai maeng torng (greens soup) on the stove. I invite my friends–Southeast Asian, black, Latinx, queer, loud, weird and all brilliant– for dinner and we laugh, tell stories, smoke and drink together in the tradition of my ancestors before me. These are the moments that remind me that I am both Mien and Khmu, fully and authentically, without having all the answers… the same moments that help me to remember that I am already whole, while enabling me to continue recovering and discovering all of the pieces of myself that make me who I am…”

Originally Published: Little Laos On The Prairie


Tender Table - Artist Feature

Best meals: My mom's cooking. And Southeast Asian food in general. Yes to all the fish sauce and fermented things.

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Maa’s Whole Pumpkin plant soup

Maa’s Whole Pumpkin plant soup