A remarkable little article that describes Hmong resettlement in North America has been published by the Appeal-Democrat, a newspaper from Yuba County, California.

Billy Yang, who is featured in the article, is quoted as saying:

What’s really shocking is that in Laos, children thought the Earth was flat. And I believed it. I never saw the ocean or knew how big the world was.

In some of the remote areas of upper mainland Southeast Asia where my work has taken me, the level of dislocation from the global scene is, in some extreme cases, almost as stark. Global issues, and even the concerns of lowland (national) society, are sometimes just so far away. Studying such places, these experiences of relative dislocation and disempowerment cannot be ignored. They pose all sorts of research challenges for those of us trying to understand aspirations and wider linkages through other people’s eyes.