Eternal Harvest: The Legacy of American Bombs in Laos
Join us for a conversation with Karen J. Coates and Jerry Redfern, authors of the forthcoming book Eternal Harvest: The Legacy of American Bombs in Laos (ThingsAsian, 2013).
Between 1964 and 1973, in an offshoot of the Vietnam War, the U.S. military dumped 4 billion pounds of explosives on Laos, making it the most heavily bombed place on earth. Up to 30 percent of those bombs did not detonate, and they remain in the Laotian soil today as UXO—unexploded ordnance—contaminating more than one-third of surface area of the country.
Tens of thousands of civilians have been killed and injured in UXO accidents after the war officially ended. 2013 marks 40 years since the last bombs fell. Yet every week, more Laotians are hurt and killed.
Coates and Redfern spent more than seven years traveling in Laos, talking to farmers, scrap-metal hunters, people who make and use tools from UXO, people who hunt for death beneath the earth and render it harmless. With their words and photographs, they reveal the beauty of Laos, the strength of Laotians, and the commitment of bomb-disposal teams. They aim to educate readers—especially Americans—about this little-known legacy of war, and encourage a renewed commitment to redressing historical injustices and building positive peace.
Karen J. Coates and Jerry Redfern are both senior fellows at Brandeis University’s Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism. They have lived and traveled extensively in Asia, covering food, environment, health and human rights for publications around the world. They also teach writing and photography to journalists in the developing world.
Presented by the Asia Pacific Peace Studies Institute in cooperation with Asia Society Northern California and Japan Policy Research Institute. Cosponsored by the HNU Integrative Studies Across Cultures Program, St. Mary’s College of California History Department and International Area Studies Program, and Schuster Institute for Investigative Journalism at Brandeis University.
Tuesday, November 12, 2013
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