Verses in Exile: Why I Write

Watch Verses in Exile: Why I Write, a story told through spoken word poetry.

About the film

Why I Write is the first episode in a series of spoken word videos by Kosal Khiev, in collaboration with Studio Revolt. Khiev, a poet and tattoo artist resides in Phnom Penh after spending 14 years of his life in a U.S. prison. Khiev tells pieces of his story through the art of spoken word poetry.

Through his poetry, Kosal reclaims his place in the world as a free man, a step that begins in Cambodia not America. Studio Revolt will create more episodes featuring Kosal’s riveting spoken word poetry and life story in their upcoming experimental web series titled Verses in Exile.

About the filmmakers

Studio Revolt is an independent artist run media lab that produces films, videos, installations and performance projects in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The media lab serves as a collaborative space for performance artist Anida Yoeu Ali and filmmaker Masahiro Sugano. Through his films, Sugano reconsiders cultural and political norms that have constricted our imagination and dulled our senses. Ali performs unapologetic poems and declarations of the self beyond fixed identities and borders.

Together, their works open up possibilities for people to exist outside of conventional narratives. Studio Revolt takes it a step further by urging viewers to become participants and stake their claim in this world.

Presented by CAAM

Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) is a non-profit organization dedicated to presenting stories that convey the richness and diversity of Asian American experiences to the broadest audience possible. We do this by funding, producing, distributing and exhibiting works in film, television and digital media.