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Tropical Leaves


We sit at the intersection of identity, tradition, and weaving our multifaceted experience to the American culture.



We are two Southeast Asian American women who grew up in immigrant and refugee households. Our project was inspired by growing up in low-income communities raised by immigrant parents who did their best to raise us with their blue collared incomes. We are considered third culture kids. This means we grew up in a culture different than our parents, although still rooted in our homeland cultures. 

We are Southeast Asian Talk (SEAT) and we're reclaiming our SEAT. The abbreviation into SEAT is a play on words to convey that Southeast Asian voices deserve a seat at the table.


Our platform works to amplify the voices of third culture kids through mixed-media storytelling that features voices and faces of Southeast Asian American women, and LGBTQ+ community members. One part stories and one part photos - it is also a photography project focused on showing the diversity of our faces. 


Our hope is that the stories will inspire and empower future generations of third culture kids, creating a platform of role models we wished we had while growing up. 

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Faye is a second-generation Mien-American. She is the daughter of immigrant parents who fled Laos during the Vietnam War in the 1980s. She was born and raised in the Bay Area and is currently based in Oakland, CA. She is a photographer and graphic designer, and works as a Visual Storyteller for a social change communications firm. She enjoys trying to replicate her mom's Mien recipes, traveling, and hanging out with her two cats, Tamagotchi and Nate Dogg.

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Chanel immigrated with her family from Indonesia at the age of nine to the Southern California suburbs. She is now based in Washington, DC. She is an International Development Management Professional (M.Sc) with a technical focus in Womens Empowerment & Gender Equality and Youth and Development. For fun she loves to dance, eat and cook spicy food; and spend time with her loved ones and close friends.

Share your story. Take a SEAT with us!

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