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Laos Cultural Profile
Due for launch in December 2005
Kabong Lao 5Standing at the crossroads of mainland South East Asia, Laos was for some 350 years the heartland of the powerful and prosperous kingdom of Lane Xang (1353-1695). Following its subsequent disintegration into the three kingdoms of Luang Prabang, Vientiane and Champassak, the Lao territories increasingly became the arena for wider conflicts between more powerful neighbours.
United and at peace since 1975, modern Laos remains a poor country, but economic reform coupled with the growth of new sources of income such as tourism and hydroelectric power are steadily improving the daily life of its citizens.
Luangrath Kongpath 3In the cultural field, Laos is known principally for its exquisite woven and embroidered textiles, though it also preserves a rich tradition of classical (courtly) and folk performance. One of Asia’s most ethnically diverse countries, Laos offers a range of hitherto untapped opportunities for reciprocal cultural interaction and exchange.
The Laos Cultural Profile represents the first major attempt to map the cultural infrastructure of this fascinating and hitherto poorly-documented country. It offers a detailed sector-by-sector guide to Archives, Competitions and Awards, Ethnic Culture, Festivals, Film, Funding, Government Cultural Policy and Infrastructure, Heritage, International Exchange, Libraries, Literature, Mass Culture, Media (Broadcasting, Press, Publishing, Internet), Performing Arts, Research, Tourism, Training, Visual Arts and Youth Arts. Each of these guides concludes with a detailed directory of key contact organisations within that sector, making it possible for the reader not only to learn about what is happening in a particular cultural sector, but also to make direct contact with the key people working in it.
The Laos Cultural Profile forms part of the Greater Mekong Cultural Profiles project, which also incorporates online Cultural Profiles of Việt Nam (click here to view this online profile) and Cambodia (forthcoming). The Greater Mekong Sub Region Cultural Profiles project is generously funded by the Rockefeller Foundation.
For more information, please contact:
Contact: Tim Doling Editor, Visiting Arts Cultural Profiles
Telephone: 856 (0) 20 761 5271
Contact: Anna Schmitz Cultural Profiles Project Manager
Telephone: 44 (0) 20 7291 1629
in association with the British Council    
Date updated: 2 June 2005
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