Sounding Southeast Asian Networks in the UK & Europe

Sounding Southeast Asian Networks in the UK & Europe

Workshops, Deep Dive Sessions AND CURRY PUFFS

Monday | April 17 | 9.30 – 6 pm, RHUL 11 Bedford Square  WC1B 3RF 

ADMISSION IS FREE, ALL WELCOME, but please register as food and seats are limited

Organisers: Shzr Ee Tan (RHUL), in collaboration with Anglo Asiatic Arts & Heritage Alliance (AAAHA)

As the world comes to terms with recovery from a pandemic whose effects remain exacerbated by existing structural inequalities across the world, we come together as a Southeast Asian (Plus) collective of liminally-spaced thinkers, writers, practitioners and activists, with a renewed commitment to making community together. 

We ask questions about what it means to be (separately, differently, and communally) Southeast Asian in a post- #BlackLivesMatter world. Here, the fabled term has now been given a new twist through “postwoke” sensibilities recalibrating race debates as Gen Z/climate/precarity debates. We ask what it means to be a Southeast Asian person/ally thinking about and actively making music/sound – or, simply – listening to the world and one another in shared CET/UTC/SEA time zones, where the affordances and connectivities of WhatsApp organising and social media have brought new meanings to intimate transnational conversations and soundwaves on “underground gossip networks.” We pose questions of ourselves in relation to the hierarchised world of inter-ethnic solidarities and intergenerational conversations. We come together to identify and process our shared and conflicting/challenging experiences of curiosity, anxiety, hope, precarity, abundance, cynicism, trust, anger, empathy, and healing. We attempt to negotiate ways of being alone and of coming together. We hope to discover new ways of finding one another as people collectively invest in the thriving of post-migrant Southeast Asian sound communities. 

Over three workshops/sharing sessions and a performance lecture, we will rethink old and new tropes about Southeast Asian musical/sounded/listening traditions and communities in the UK and Europe. We will make reference to non-linear and overlapped historical migrations. We also celebrate key turning points (eg  London’s first Southeast Asian Arts Festival; Decolonial Frequencies initiative in Berlin), and commemorate ever-changing sonic memories (via old and new mediations from karaoke to radio and ABRSM, plus also good ol’ family-lineaged storytelling). While we take stock of the past and present, we also think ahead about processes and structures of support, of capacity-building and renewal, and posit tentative suggestions for the unique offerings that Southeast Asian musicians/artists/allies/communities can pledge to not only a Southeast Asian cultural industry in the UK/Europe, but also broader community life in physical and spiritual places we call our transient or permanent homes.   

* This event is held under the auspices of the AHRC-funded research project, Sounds of Precarious Labour.


9.30 am Coffee; welcome words   

10.00 – 11.00 am Workshop 1 on Community/Capacity building and Intersectional Southeast Asian sounded/music networks

BREAK 11 – 12 pm – ASIAN SNACKS! (and maybe some biscuits from Ye Olde England)

11.30 pm – 1 pm Workshop 2 – Paper presentations on Inter-Southeast Asian exchanges in Asia:

Andita Aniarani (RHUL)

Solomon Shiu (Oxford)

Shzr Ee Tan (RHUL)

LUNCH – 1 pm – 2.30 pm – CURRY PUFFS and ACHAR!

2.30 – 4 pm Workshop 3 – next steps on Historical, current and future trajectories: intergenerational exchanges; past experiences at London’s first Southeast Asian Arts Festival; future paths

BREAK 4 – 4.30 pm ASIAN SNACKS! (and maybe some biscuits from Ye Olde England)

4.30  – 5.30 pm Lecture-Performance by meLê yamomo  and Johanes Santosa Pribadi Mo’ong 

5.30 pm Closing Words

6 pm  DINNER 


Andita Aniarani

Hi Ching

Lonán Ó Briain

Tina K Ramnarine

Johannes Santoso Pribadi

Solomon Shiu

Shzr Ee Tan

meLê yamomo

Sarnt Utamachote

Kamolnun Ruddit