An inspiring program for creative practitioners ready to take the lead on how arts and culture contribute to sustainable development in South-East Asia

SEAΔ

SEAΔ is a program co-created by Mekong Cultural Hub and British Council which creates space for cultural practitioners to reflect on how their work in arts and culture can contribute to sustainable development within South East Asia through their individual and collective leadership.

Each year we will select 10 Fellows from 10 countries: Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines, Taiwan and the United Kingdom.

The program has 4 main gatherings spread over a one-year period where Fellows get together. Each gathering takes place in a different country and has a unique purpose:  exchange, create, share then reflect.

 

Co-created with
britishcouncil

SEAΔ 2020:

Dates & Locations

 

Phnom Penh, Cambodia: 21-25 November 2019

Laos, Myanmar or Vietnam (various provinces): Between January and March 2020

Bandung, Indonesia: 15-18 June 2020

Vientiane, Laos: 8-10 September 2020

Information Pack


Contact: jennifer@mekongculturalhub.org

 

Implementing partner:
Helvetas

MEET THE 2019-20 SEAΔ FELLOWS

Cambodia

HENG Samnang

Samnang is from Kampong Thom province and graduated from Pannasastra University of Cambodia (PUC), majoring in Environmental Studies. She currently works with Cambodian Living Arts (CLA) as Senior Coordinator for the Khmer Magic Music Bus program (the KMMB).

Samnang has been combining her passions for the environment, arts and culture for many years. This has been both through volunteering and through her work.

Between 2014 and 2016, Samang and friends organized 11 community projects around Cambodia focused on environment and art education. They called the whole program “My friends & I” and activities included building a library and toilets in schools. Samnang also volunteered for the Heinrich Böll Stiftung foundation in Phnom Penh on project Women and Environment.

She first started working with Cambodian Living Arts in September 2012, then left CLA for 2 years to work for Wildlife Alliance as project coordinator for an Eco – tourism program in Chi Phat, Koh Kong province. She returned to CLA again in 2016. As well as working with the KMMB, Samnang has taken artists on tour to Australia, Europe and the USA.

She is really interested in traveling and meeting new people!

Indonesia

PARAMYTHA Gayatri Nadya

Gayatri was born in Jakarta, Indonesia. She graduated from the Faculty of Humanity, University of Indonesia majoring in Linguistics.

Gayatri started her career in radio, as a producer and doing marketing for online media. Then she became involved with film exhibition and distribution in Indonesia.  She was part of the organizing committee for several film festivals and screenings, including Jakarta International Film Festival.

Today she works with KOLEKTIF, an initiative film distribution established in 2013. KOLEKTIF works with the community, to develop and deliver activities including film screenings, discussions, workshops, community management and capacity building. She is also part of KINOSAURUS, a micro cinema in Jakarta which was established in 2015 and runs the regular Arthouse cinema with fringe events including artist talks, filmmaking workshops and exhibitions.

Apart from her role in the distribution industry, Gayatri hosts Cinema Paradisco, a monthly podcast going behind-the-scenes of films and the ecosystem. She believes that experiential education is essential to enrich educational infrastructure in her country.

Laos

TONGCHAN Kamphart (Pat)

Phart is the landscape designer and head gardener at Pha Tad Khe Botanical Garden in Luang Prabang. In late 2019, Pha Tad Khe will expand to include Project Space, a series of traditional wooden houses dedicated to exhibitions and artist residencies. They will showcase both contemporary and traditional work, and make arts and culture an even more vibrant part of the garden. 

Pat first started working as part of his family’s pottery production business, focusing on clay and pottery design. In 2010 he joined Pha Tad Ke Botanical Garden as a landscape designer. As well as designing the PTK Botanical Garden, his role includes managing teams, organizing workshops and training for students and the local community and organising cultural events with local and international artists.

Pat has worked in stencilling, pottery design, flower arrangement, botanical drawing and bamboo handicrafts. He has published two horticulture menus in Laos for local communities and students of colleges and universities.

Malaysia

Joanne MUN

Joanne is an architect‐urbanist with fifteen years of professional experience in the fields of urban design, urban planning, master planning and architecture. As a registered architect with the NSW Architects Registration Board in Australia, she is also a heritage conservation advocate.

After living and working in Australia for many years, Joanne returned to Malaysia in 2015. Upon her return, she joined Think City, a non‐profit organisation focussing on community‐based urban regeneration as a Senior Manager and Team Leader of the Urban Design and Planning Unit to help rejuvenate the cities of Kuala Lumpur and Butterworth.

After nearly 4 years of urban regeneration work in Kuala Lumpur, her passion for community empowerment remains unabated. Joanne began volunteering at YWCA (Young Women’s Christian Association) Kuala Lumpur in late 2018, among other community‐based voluntary work.

She has recently accepted the offer to join the YWCA KL board as the Vice President and leads the Youth Wing Creative Recreational Program. The program is specifically designed for students of YWCA’s Vocational Training Opportunity Centre, a vocational skills training school for young women from underprivileged communities.

Myanmar

Zun Ei Phyu (Zun Ei)

Zun Ei Phyu is a visual artist who has devoted most of her time to paper-cutting, installations and community arts.

Zun Ei is a medical doctor as well as a certified Art Therapy Life Coach. Zun Ei pursued her career in arts after medical school. She was involved in various in-country and overseas art projects and workshops since then.

Zun Ei strongly believes that art can bring peace and mindfulness to anyone. She hopes art to be a platform to interact and connect people to themselves, and to each other as an emotional journey. Her works are research-based and not limited to painting and drawing.

Zun Ei’s primary interest concerns public participatory art works and community art projects. Main themes of her works are social and ecological issues related to children and elderly people. She has created projects and workshops for youngsters from rehabilitation centers and children from monastic education schools on different topics including waste management, child labor, access to education and poverty.

Zun Ei had successfully presented three solo exhibitions to date in Myanmar, Japan and Malaysia. She was also featured in more than twenty group exhibitions in Myanmar, Austria, Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia and Singapore.

Philippines

Razcel JAN LUIZ SALVARITA (R’az)

Raz is a multi-disciplinary artist based on the island of Negros in the Philippines. His creative endeavours reflect the convergence of the three pillars he primarily works on: Spiritual Vitality, Creative Healing, and Sacred Ecology.

He is a proactive environmental activist and community arts organizer. Ra’z is the founder of Gugma Gaia, a non-profit organization focusing on environmental conservation – utilizing the power of the arts for creative campaigns. For three consecutive years, he worked as Festival Director for the 6200 Pop-Up Arts and Crafts Fair – celebrating the creative local island artistry.

As a Creative Activist, he has worked with different environmental and community development organizations including SPARK!  (Samahan ng mga Pilipina para sa Reporma at Kaunlaran), Greenpeace – Solar Generation, OCEANA, Rare, and the U.S. Peace Corps (volunteer organization). He was also a representative in two UN Climate Change Conferences – in Montreal, Canada and Bali, Indonesia. He has led the crowdfunding of an on-going development of a creative and healing arts centre known as Malkootha Sanctuary.

Ra’z completed a degree in Communication and Environmental Journalism at Silliman University in Dumaguete City, Philippines. He presented a TEDx Talk on “Artivism: Effecting Environmental Consciousness through Art.”

Taiwan

Gordon KAO

Gordon is a Marketing Director in a sustainable travel agency called WALK in TAIWAN. He is also a writer and a regular columnist for The Big Issue and Social Enterprise Insights. Besides his professional work, he handles an Eco Travel project in Bali with his friend.

Now his work is taking Taiwanese people to join the sustainable travel, including Eco, culture, environment, nature, farming, religion issue. His job is to initiate and use different media, social media to promote their travel product and discussion.

In Taiwan, he has given more than 50 speeches at universities, high schools and enterprises. Not only to share his experience and insight of the job and life, but also to promote International Volunteerism  and sustainable travel. Before he was responsible for managing volunteers and travel projects in Cambodia, Nepal, Inner Mongolia, Myanmar, Bali, and Taiwan. In the past few years, he has led more than 2,000 people to Bali, Cambodia and Nepal for responsible travel and volunteering. He was also a volunteer project manager in Cambodia for 2 years and long-term volunteer of education program for 1 year. Totally he has stayed in Cambodia for 3 years, and Cambodia is like his second home.

Thailand

Tanawat ASAWAITTHIPOND

Tanawat is a producer, visual artist and consultant (specialising in marketing and business direction).

Since Tanawat earned his degree in Economics, he has accumulated experiences, network, and connections in the art field. He has developed a deep understanding about the situation of contemporary arts in Thailand. And he has worked with influential artists and companies such as Pichet Klunchun, Nikorn Sae-tang, Babymime and Crescent moon theatre. Outside of Thailand he has collaborated with many Asia-pacific artists & producers such as Japan and SEAs, and the Korean government.

Currently, he is taking a step further by introducing a different, compromised model. (Artpedia: a troupe) is an arts management group, which consists of art savvy and new-generation art managers/producers who are keen to see all forms of art, especially performing and visual arts, flourish in our motherland, Thailand. Their hearts sincerely respect the artists and their work, and they also see things through the lens of an entrepreneur. Tanawat’s vision is to develop a model for the arts in Thailand to be able to sustain and thrive through this challenging time (domestic politics, problems on art management policy and support, technology disruption on culture).  He also has an interest in contemporary art for social, economic, political and intercultural issues.

UK

Colin PANTALL

Colin is a writer, lecturer and photographer based in Bath, England.

His photographic work focuses on his immediate domestic environment and includes his projects All Quiet on the Home Front and German Family Album.

He also has a deep interest in photography, the environment and sustainability and has photographed and written on seaweed farming in Bali, the threatened lives of islanders on Komodo, and urban architecture in Jakarta.

He co-wrote and edited Magnum China and currently writes for a range of organisations and publications including Magnum, The British Journal of Photography, and Source Magazine. He is currently writing a year-long series of articles on photography, ethics and storytelling for World Press Photo Witness.

Colin is interested in how to tell complex stories using the personal elements that create empathy, engagement and (possibly) change.

Vietnam

Yen LE THI HAI

Yen is a community-based project Coordinator based in Pu Mat National Park, Nghe An, Vietnam.

Yen comes from the middle area of Vietnam. She has been working on development projects for over six years and has acquired experience in performing from both local and international organizations based in Vietnam.

She has a strong passion for environmental issues, community development as well as sustainable development. Yen regards herself as an enthusiastic self-starter, self- motivated team member, opened minded person and enjoy working in a multi-cultural environment. Yen also holds a bachelor of Environmental Technology from Vietnam National University of Science, Ha Noi.

Joining Save Vietnam’s Wildlife (svw.vn), a young, dynamic non-profit conservation organization since 2017, she wishes to contribute to successful wildlife conservation in Pu Mat National Park as one of the largest national parks in Vietnam, aiming for a win-win outcome for biodiversity and local ethnic minorities.

In her free time, she enjoys cycling, going to the gym and reading books.

The Facilitators

Nicola Turner

Nicola is the Director of NT Creative Arts. She offers arts consultancy, creative project and event development and management, teaching, facilitation and coaching in the cultural and creative sector. She is based in London and works all over the UK and internationally, specializing in leadership and entrepreneurship design and development.

Consultancy has included developing, designing and delivering a number of international cultural leadership programmes including the International Creative Entrepreneurs programme for Creative Scotland; the ACCELERATE and INTERSECT Programme for the British Council Australia and working on the design of the SEAD Program for Mekong Cultural Hub and British Council. Project management and consultancy includes developing networks for international delegations and collaborations for Arts Council Korea and Arts Council England; the Making Digital Work event at the Library of Birmingham for the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts, The ‘D’ Word event for NitroBEAT and the Barbican; conferences and events for the Paul Hamlyn Foundation, She has been a consultant at University of the Arts London Awarding Body working on the development of art education for young people. Nicola is an Associate Tutor on the MA in Creative and Cultural Entrepreneurship,Goldsmiths, University of London.

Nicola was the Assistant Director for the Cultural Leadership Programme, 2006-11, at Arts Council England, leading on the strategic development of the work-based learning strand of CLP as well as the development priorities; Artist Practitioner Leadership Development and International Leadership. Previously she was a Project Manager at Nesta, University of Arts London and the RSA.

Sudebi Thakurata

Sudebi is a narrative designer, creative facilitator, thinker, educator, writer and singer. She designs experiences, engagement and environment that allow people to think and have dialogue, make their thinking and interaction visible and thus enable them to design their own solutions and narratives using different modes and media. Storytelling is her passion and so is the interface of science, humanities, arts and design.

Sudebi emphasises on socially, environmentally and culturally relevant issues while inter-weaving design thinking, imagination, systems thinking, pedagogy, visual and performing arts, oral history, ethnography and research to design possibilities. She has been teaching at Srishti Institute of Art, Design and Technology, India across undergrad and post-grad for nearly nine years and has co-founded the transdisciplinary design collective d.epicentre.

She focuses on bringing in inquiry driven, participatory, context based design and trans-disciplinarity into her work. Currently her research areas are: re-defining curation, understanding the role of local wisdom through narrative sources in addressing complex problems, finding pedagogical possibilities in places, exploring the ‘body’ as a site of learning and inquiring about the intersections of pedagogy, design and inclusion.

As designer at d.epicentre, she leads many projects with leading international and national organisations where the projects range from designing facilitation, cultural leadership, pedagogical design, exhibition design, archival, curatorial, media-based, visual-spatial communication design to instructional design. She has also started a unique pedagogy, art and design led trans-local initiative called ‘The Archival City-A Site of Learning’.

 

MEET THE 2018-19 SEAΔ FELLOWS

Anwar ‘Jimpe’ Rachman has curated Jakarta Biennale (2015), Bom Benang/Yarn Bombing (2012-2017), and directed Makassar Biennale II (2017).

He founded Tanahindie, a Makassar urban studies collective, in 1999. Jimpe and his colleagues studied and tried to revive yard as a space for arts and research. In 2017, they published Halaman Rumah/Yard (Tanahindie Press). He supports a youth group working on their coming book: Kota Diperam dalam Lontang/A City Soaked in Sapping Tube (Tanahindie Press, 2018), in collaboration with Stichting Doen-Arts Collaboratory.

He wrote Hidup di Atas Patahan/Living above the Fault (InsistPress, 2012); Chambers: Makassar Urban Culture Identity (Chambers Celebes, 2013) and many co-books;  his essays and poems have been published by Kompas, Tempo, Esquire Indonesia, Fajar, and Tribun Timur.

Jimpe works as an archivist in Kampung Buku, a public library in Makassar, Indonesia. Read his blog here.

Catherine Sarah Young is a Chinese-Filipina interdisciplinary artist, designer, and writer.

She creates works that investigate nature, our role in nature, and the tensions between nature and technology, exploring themes such as climate change and sustainability; science policy and citizen science; feminism; and participatory art. She graduated magna cum laude in molecular biology and biotechnology from the University of the Philippines and in Interaction Design from the School of Visual Arts NYC as a Fulbright Scholar. Her work includes The Apocalypse Project (climate change and our environmental futures), Future Rx (sustainability), and Wild Science (science and society). She has an international exhibition, awards, and fellowship profile and has collaborated with scientists, companies, and non-profits most recently around Southeast Asia, Uganda, Austria, and the Amazon. Find out  more about her via Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or on her website

Đỗ Tường Linh is an art researcher/ curator based in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Linh pursued her B.A in Art History and Art Criticism at Vietnam University of Fine Art and her M.A in Contemporary Art and Art Theory of Asia and Africa at SOAS (University of London), UK. Her research and curatorial practice range from art and politics, conceptualism and post-colonial studies. She has engaged in the art, cultural and civil society scene in Vietnam, Southeast Asia and beyond since 2005 collaborating with various art spaces, galleries and institutions in different roles; writing, researching, curating, teaching and translating.

Currently she is working as a researcher for Site and Space in Southeast Asia – a research initiative run by Power Institute, University of Sydney, Australia and co-founder/ artistic director of Six Space, Hanoi, Vietnam.

Jing-Wen Tseng is a full time practitioner using theatre for social transformation since 2007.

She works in communities, organizations, schools, prisons, and identity groups, for educational, organizing and empowerment purposes. She loves the co-creating process with people in theatre workshops to open more space for feeling, connecting, thinking critically (from individual to social dimension), and expressing both individually and collectively.

She facilitates interactive performances related to people’s voices, community building and education.

Jing-Wen participates in different human rights groups and social movements including immigrants’ groups, nurses’ union, social workers, and prisoners’ groups, and has participated in a deliberative democracy project as a facilitator since 2011.

Overall, she regards herself as a dialogue facilitator, a critical pedagogy practitioner, a cultural activist, an organizer, and a human rights movement participant.

Khouanfa Siriphone co-founded the social enterprise STELLA in 2015.

STELLA provides soft skill development opportunities for youth to support their personal growth and positive social change.

This includes interactive workshops, small grants to transform ideas into projects, and incubation space for research, project planning, and co-creation.

They collaborated with OXFAM and 11 youth groups to produce videos through which youth could share concerns about social issues in Laos. Their UNESCO-funded MOOM Project supports creatives, entrepreneurs, donors, and government officials to explore sustainable approaches for goods and services in creative fields.

 

Khouanfa is pioneering ‘edutainment’ methods for social development. He is the first Lao in The Asia Foundation Development Fellows Class of 2017, and is a former Curator of Global Shapers Vientiane Hub, an initiative of the World Economic Forum.

Khouanfa graduated from Queensland University of Technology, Australia; with Bachelor of Creative Industries: Creative Writing, Communication, and Entertainment.

Moi Tran is a refugee of the Vietnam War. Her work examines the effects of DIS/placement,

in an ever-evolving negotiation she calls the ‘Eternal detour of identity’, to explore identity as a transient form yielding to the imprint of experience. She is interested in using this concept of identity and surrounding subjects as a ‘Technology’ to produce knowledge.

Her philosophy of “Common-ism” explores the commonality we share rather than difference through constructions of live action scenarios, video, object making, text and installation. Her work explores relationships within the domain of immediacy and experiences of visibility in spaces of appearance. She composes ‘narrative scenarios’ to explore acts that shape our spaces of appearance and discuss the social geography of individual and relational identity.

She is interested in improvisation and duration as tools to investigate alternative ideas of protest; soft activism celebrating the accumulative power contemplative of protest.

Sinath SOUS is Director of HR and Community Engagement at Phare, Performing Social Enterprise (PPSE) in Siem Reap, Cambodia.

She has worked for over 10 years with Phare, creating a strong bond with the staff, artists and the arts community. She describes this as the best professional experience in my life working with performing arts actors so far. Supervising a local and international team, she has contributed to many improvements: increasing the social impact at Phare; improving the organization of staff and artists; and improving staff events, festivals, and the creation of Phare culture – which she calls the most amazing and exciting experiences of her life.

She manages the Facebook Pages “Women and Society” and “Arts and Environment”, and is a Project Coordinator of the Arts and Environment Festival, which will take place for the second time in 2019 in Kampong Thom, Cambodia.

Thanupon Yindee is a director, actor and dancer from Thailand, working with the Makhampom Theatre Group.

From 2010 to 2012, he and his team devised and performed community theatre productions raising awareness of children’s rights.

In 2012 he co-directed a physical theatre production addressing stateless and ethnic minority rights in Northern Thailand. In 2013, he used his experience of military conscription to create contemporary dance dealing with violence in Thai military training.

In 2014, he performed and produced contemporary circus and theatre in collaboration with German artists. From 2015 to 2017, he directed circus-theatre productions with young performers from ethnic minorities. In 2017, he directed a contemporary theatre production about freedom and democracy in the face of the military coup. From 2016 to 2018, he was part of a team creating theater that starts a dialogue between audience and characters on the stage about social dilemmas.

Thet Oo Maung is of Kayin-Armenian descent and is a dedicated humanitarian.

A self-taught painter, photographer and videographer, he records the activities of NGOs in Myanmar.  In 2012, he joined Yangon Film School’s “The Art of Documentary Film Making Workshop”.

In 2009, his paintings were part of a group exhibition in Yangon. An amateur photographer since 2005, he followed the Saffron Revolution in 2017 taking photos, later sharing his stories with the Bangkok Post

In 2012, he joined the Yangon Film School to learn documentary filmmaking.  Since then, he has made more than 10 documentary films, some of which have won awards in International Film Festivals. In 2016, he participated in Myanmar Script Fund competition and won the Special Jury Mention award. He is still developing this script together with a scriptwriter to become his first feature-length fiction film.

Zikri Rahman has consistently embarked on collaborations with cultural activist groups in various socio-political projects.

Buku Jalanan, a community-based cultural literacy and street library movement he co-founded, is a loose cultural and knowledge workers network focusing on decentralizing the modes of knowledge production. Operating like a “rhizome”, the initiative is spread almost to a hundred different locations and has been adopted by hundreds of other autonomous cultural workers worldwide.

He is also the festival director of the inaugural Idearaya, a festival of ideas dedicated to celebrating progressive discourses within the vibrant grassroots community of intelligentsia, civil society, and community organizers in Southeast Asia. With LiteraCity, he initiated a literary and cultural mapping project in the city of Kuala Lumpur. Currently pursuing his postgraduate studies in Social Research and Cultural Studies in Taiwan, Zikri is also a writer, independent researcher, translator and podcaster for various ephemeral platforms.