The Singapore Hub kicks things off with a conversation with Mekong Cultural Hub, on 13 Jan 2023.
Started in 2017 with the goal of empowering diverse cultural practitioners to bring to life their visions for a sustainable and inclusive Asia, today Mekong Cultural Hub (MCH) has an active network of over 150 ‘Fellows’, whose work is at the intersection of arts and society. These Fellows are artists, manager, researchers, producers, and curators, coming from different countries, towns and villages, and from different disciplines and training. They come together based on shared values and aspirations, and seeking collaboration and solidarity with peers across borders, as they find space to develop their own professional practices, and in so doing contribute to building up knowledge, experience and resources that are supporting the development of the socially-engaged arts sector in Asia.
In this sharing, Frances Rudgard and Jennifer Lee, Director and Program Manager of MCH respectively, will introduce the context of the Mekong Region and the cultural, social and political ecosystems in which artists there are working. The region is comprised of low- and middle-income countries with growing economies, rich in natural resources, and has an important geo-political position within Asia, including ASEAN and in relation to China. The region is currently experiencing conflict, urgent environmental issues and growing social inequality. It has a rich and diverse cultural make-up shaped by empires, colonialism and globalisation.
Two artists, Thanupon Yindee (Golf) from Thailand and Khin Thethar Latt (Nora) from Myanmar will also be sharing case studies of socially-engaged arts projects from their countries of origin. Golf and Nora are both alumni of two programs co-created and organised by MCH, which have focused on arts and transformation. The cases they will share relate to water management, and working in communities that are in crisis.