KEV NKAG TEBCHAWS
In certain languages, such as the Hmong Language, certain words are untranslatable, non-existent, or undefined. In literal terms, Kev Nkag Tebchaw translates to “a way to crawl into country,” in other words, Immigration.
Since The Secret War and the unraveling of genocide and displacement, my parents were fortunate to exit Laos into Thailand where most refugees were held at the time being. During this process, Intergovernmental Committee Migration (ICM) cards were handed out to those as records. Records that were held as informational proof and approval of food and water.
“Without that card, you were unable to eat...” - Mother
During this process, they were also handed records of those that have been presumed
“deceased.” A biodata that held important information retaining lost relatives during the event of the war or even life living in poverty prior to the events of the changing catastrophe.
Years passed and my parents migrated to the United States to live the “American dream,” in hopes to raise their children where the world is now silent from those chasing to eradicate the Hmong people. They have taken risks and have seen the horrors and edges of humanity. Endured pain, loss, and grief of their family.
I am todays’ years old that I discovered one of the last few remnants and only photos of the world my parents left behind them many years ago. This is a project dedicated to my parents and their sacrifices for us. To the beginning of their migration to the migrant realities in America and to the only proof of their existence in space and time.
Below lies extremely old archives, to photos in Thailand, to the beginning of life in America.