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Photographer's Note

This is taken in a Hmong village, an hour drive in the hills from Luang Prabang...

Trails of mud, a grey monsoon sky and lush green hilly surroundings led us to the village, just like in any Lao place, I thought I was walking invisible.

No work frenzy like you would see in vietnamese places, no communicating or selling desire as you would expect from most thai villages, no long staring a la indonesian way, no basketball match nor music, it wasn't the Phils.

Hmong people led their peaceful life and left me leading mine, smiles and small chats happened when I came very closely to the houses entrances, like people were welcoming a long time known neighbor, not a curious foreigner. Untold words and quietness felt warmer than any welcome.

There's an atmosphere spreading over you in Laos, something that makes you become part of the country or, even better, a part of the general mood itself in a snap of the hand. A voice saying inside "let it go everything", soon you're taking the special look that makes you peer at the real world not right in front but just an inch aside, as if you were to look at it from a new profile and let your imagination do the rest.

Sometimes things are stronger felt when not faced abruptly, a slight viewing angle will leave your mind wandering and trigger the dreaming process. In a way, Laos is a dreaming generator : it's certainly the best way not to get flooded with reality and to keep your deepest identity.

Laos is often pointed as the most underdevelopped country in promising SEA. I'm wondering whether it's a fact, a choice or even a will : economics are not really the most fertile thing to dream about, I guess... Laos might have as well looked at it, applied their own angle, then decided why loose their identity to it and soon got back to dreaming.

You see these Hmong kids from Long Ban Lao are not looking right at me... they never will, though I was standing right in front. Perhaps the little girl is looking with a slight angle beyond what I am... more certainly I suppose she doesn't care at all...Like a part of the real world, I'm simply invisible...

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Additional Photos by Luko G R (Luko) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2424 W: 490 N: 2900] (14000)
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