WHAT WE DO

Untold Stories Project

THE U.S. SECRET WAR IN LAOS

Our digital storytelling project

For over fifteen years, the CIA conducted the “Secret War” in Laos. This war’s devastating impacts on the millions of the poorest living in the small, landlocked nation of Laos are still felt today, even after 45 years. 

 

Laos found itself the target of an aerial war, the likes of which had never been seen before. As a result, the Secret War in Laos gave the country the tragic distinction of being the most heavily bombed country per capita in the annals of warfare and in the world. In addition, as directed by the CIA, vast amounts of herbicides were also sprayed over Laos. Very few know of this history and the ongoing impacts of the war in the country. 

 

Our dedicated team is traveling throughout southern Laos to gather and archive the eyewitness stories of ordinary Lao who experienced pre-war, wartime and post-war Laos. In particular, this digital storytelling project takes us to Southeastern Laos, where the Ho Chi Minh trail was established on Lao territory, a region which remains one of the poorest in the country. 

 

 

We hope to bring the untold stories of an unknown and devastating war in Laos to light, to the global community at large, so that we can develop a greater understanding of war’s true costs and long-term consequences—and end them.

 

Our goal is to consolidate and finalize our digital video and photo collections from our on-ground interviews currently underway in all parts of Laos and archive them in the Library of Congress as well as in an archive with the government of Lao PDR. Excerpts of our efforts will also be edited and available on-line.

 

You can help! If you spent time in Laos during the war or post-war era, contact WLP at laos@warlegacies.org and share your story. Or donate to this project.