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Guide to the Refugee Nation videorecordings and promotional materials MS.SEA.038
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Collection Details
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  • Access
  • Publication Rights
  • Preferred Citation
  • Acquisition Information
  • Processing History
  • Historical Background
  • Collection Scope and Content Summary

  • Title: Refugee Nation videorecordings and promotional materials
    Identifier/Call Number: MS.SEA.038
    Contributing Institution: Special Collections and Archives, University of California, Irvine Libraries
    Language of Material: English
    Physical Description: 0.2 Linear feet (1 box)
    Date (inclusive): circa 2007-2009
    Abstract: This collection comprises 4 video recordings of Refugee Nation, a national theater project that explores the Laotian refugee experience.
    creator: Chan, Leilani
    creator: Refugee Nation (Theatrical performance).
    creator: Saopeng, Ova
    creator: TeAda Productions.


    The collection is open for research.

    Publication Rights

    Property rights reside with the University of California. Literary rights and copyrights are retained by the creators of the records and their heirs. For permissions to reproduce or to publish, please contact the Head of Special Collections and Archives.

    Preferred Citation

    Refugee Nation Performance Videorecordings and Promotional Materials. MS-SEA038. Special Collections and Archives, The UC Irvine Libraries, Irvine, California. Date accessed.
    For the benefit of current and future researchers, please cite any additional information about sources consulted in this collection, including permanent URLs, item or folder descriptions, and box/folder locations.

    Acquisition Information

    Gift of Ova Saopeng, 2010.

    Processing History

    Processed by Joanna Lamb, 2010.

    Historical Background

    Refugee Nation is a two-person theatrical performance written and performed Leilani Chan and Ova Saopeng that explores topics related to Laotian refugee experiences in the United States including assimilation, generational differences, and mental health concerns. Using drama, film, music, and audience interaction, the performance examines the universal themes of change, loss, struggle, healing, and strength of the human spirit by highlighting the young Laos generation's struggle to understand their history.
    Ova Saopeng is an actor and writer from Los Angeles. He was born in Savannahket, Laos and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii. He received his B.A. in Theater from the University of Southern California and has worked nationally with many theater companies. Saopeng is currently a roster artist with TeAda Productions, a theatrical troupe led by founding artistic director Leilani Chan, who is also his wife. TeAda is a company dedicated to supporting artists of color in the creation of innovative theatrical performances that empower under-served communities.
    During the Vietnam War many Laotian families were involved in covert military operations aiding the United States. After the war, families that supported the U.S. were forced to emigrate from their native communities to U.S. soil. Since 1973 more than 240,000 Laotian refugees have settled in the U.S. with the bulk of the population, over 40 percent, settling in California.

    Collection Scope and Content Summary

    Refugee Nation is a national theatre project written and performed by Leilani Chan and Ova Saopeng, based on the stories of Laotian refugees and their descendants living in the United States. This collection includes video recordings (4 DVDs) of Refugee Nation performances and interviews, programs, advertisements, clippings, and brochures.

    Subjects and Indexing Terms

    Laotians -- California-- Archives
    Political refugees -- Laos -- Archives
    Political refugees -- Laos -- Narratives
    Refugees -- California -- Archives
    Southeast Asian Americans -- California -- Archives
    Theater -- United States -- History -- Sources
    Theater programs.
    Video art -- California -- 21st century
    Video recordings -- 21st century