Friday, April 6, 2012

Video Letter to President Obama from Cambodian Deportees

From Studio Revolt:

Studio Revolt Sends Video Letter To President Obama From Cambodian Deportees

PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA — April 6, 2012

Studio Revolt’s first video on the issue of deportation was titled “My Asian Americana” and submitted to the White House Initiative on Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders’ “What’s Your Story” Video challenge on November 1, 2011. In February, the Initiative selected “My Asian Americana” as one of 11 finalists from over 200 video submissions. The contest, then, opened the judging process to the public to watch and vote. The winners would be awarded the chance to bring their issue to a White House event called “Champions of Change.”

“My Asian Americana”
won the highest public vote. The White House ignored this win. It is election year and the Obama administration has done a great job to avoid addressing real concerns. So much so that they would ignore a democratic process that voted the issue of deportations as a critical problem facing AAPI communities.

Studio Revolt’s response to this dismissal and act of silencing is as follows:

1.) Assisted by Cambodian Royalty and the greater Phnom Penh Arts Community, Studio Revolt organized the “Champions of Change, too” performance gala. The award ceremony held on April 2, 2012, honored the creators and collaborators of “My Asian Americana.” The event was a statement against the White House’s attempt to silence voices criticizing deportations.

2.) “Return to Sender” is a video letter sent from Phnom Penh, Cambodia to Washington, D.C. The video is a collection of testimonies by Khmer Exiled Americans extradited to Cambodia under harsh US deportation policies. The video continues the studio’s interest in giving voice to abandoned and forgotten stories.

We urge the public and concerned citizens to write your congressional representatives, senators, and the president about these unjust laws and the need to reform our immigration and criminal justice systems. Write to the Department of Justice, Homeland Security, and ICE about their destructive policies that are ripping American families apart. Ask the White House Initiative on Asian American and Pacific Islanders to address the issue of deportations in the White House. You can write them directly at

Additionally, please write Ms. Valerie Jarrett (, Senior Advisor to the President, and ask her to investigate the way her Office of Public Engagement silenced this issue despite the popular vote outcome during the White House AAPI's "What's Your Story" video contest.


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