I can identify with the title, and after seeing the photo of Khue Khang stands in front of a photo taken of him when he was 14 at the Nong Khai Refugee Camp, this I can say that I had been there, and done that, in fact, I too lived in Nong Khai Refugee Camp as a child.
But it seems so long ago, the title above is a traveling exhibit at the Hickory Museum of Art. The museum recreates a refugee’s life, and as for Khue Khang, it’s memories wrapped in barbed wire. Khue Khang currently lives in Hickory, North Carolina, he was born in Laos, lived in two refugee camps in Thailand. He said that the exhibit rings true, the faux barbed wire is familiar to him. When he was 14, he was separated from his mother, father and brother. He ended up at the camp where he and 20,000 other refugees called home.
He remembers passing through a gate like the one that greets exhibit visitors, its striped arm lowered to stop unauthorized people from coming in or leaving, this must be SorGorTor in Thai Language, a temporary holding place before sending them off to a refugee camp about 1-2 miles away. He remembers the registration station, where refugees signed up to get their limited food. He remembers the pots and pans sitting on rocks that encircled an open fire. (source and photo by Ragan Robinson)
TORN FROM HOME: My Life as a Refugee is presented by Howard & Pat Anderson and the Beaver Family Foundation. It’s a traveling exhibit on the world’s refugees takes school-age children and visitors of all ages on an inspiring, hands-on journey into the extraordinary lives of millions of children who were forced to flee their homes in conflict regions throughout the world. The exhibit, “Torn from Home: My Life as a Refugee,” gives young visitors and others an opportunity to gain a firsthand look into the often challenging realities faced by refugee children and their families, and yet experience the personal triumphs of rebuilding their lives in a new land. It showcases six exhibit areas: Home, Losing Home, Registration, Refugee Camp, Medical Clinic and Going Home, to read more.
And yes… going home and for some of us, home is where the heart is. If you’re in the area, this exhibit is opened through May 2, 2010. I hope to visit in the near future, and perhaps it’ll travel to your part of town.