FELLOWSHIP INTRODUCTION

The ArtsEquator Fellowship is a professional development programme for mid-career arts critics and journalists who are creating critical content about the arts in Southeast Asia. This unique programme aims to build a community of arts critics in the region.

Learn more about our 2023 Fellows and their projects below.

2023 FELLOWSHIP CYCLE

ArtsEquator is pleased to announce our Fellows:

Dan Koh

FELLOWSHIP PROJECT:
1. Interview with Chia Chee Sum: When I  See Strangers, They Look Like Family to Me
2. Single Parent, Single Child
3. Funny Tongues
4. ‘La Luna’: Malayan dreaming

Based in Singapore, Dan Koh is an independent writer of creative non-fiction, spotlighting Southeast Asian culture and the arts, and histories and heritage. His most recent chapbook, Jurong, My Love (2017), was a Singapore Unbound Book of the Year. Dan’s essays and articles have appeared in books published by Weiss Publications and The MIT Press; periodicals like BiblioAsia, Time Out Singapore, and NYLON Singapore; and websites such as ArtsEquator, Vdrome, and The Online Citizen. Debuting as a playwright, Dan’s one-act play, “Staying Over” (2010), was anthologised in Voices Clear and True (2012). The co-founding editor of formative online magazine POSKOD.SG, Dan was a Singapore Creative Writing Residency 2013 writer-in-residence. Apart from writing, Dan is a book editor and independent film producer. He maintains a blog on his website, damnkohl.com

During the Fellowship, Dan will be researching representation in recent Singapore and Malaysian independent cinema. “I hope to foster a slightly deeper appreciation and understanding of Southeast Asian cinema, past and present, and in both film audiences (casual ones and cinephiles) and practitioners, by writing reviews and essays that I wouldn’t regularly have the time or headspace to devote myself to.”

Do: Na

FELLOWSHIP PROJECT:
1. The Rise and Decline of Authentic Acting in Myanmar Films
2. How a Boylove Show Impacts Pop Culture in War-Torn Myanmar
3. How Reviews Can Boose Myanmar’s Film Culture Post Coup 
4. A New Era: War-Torn Myanmar Finds Hope in Movie Series 
5. ‘Broken Dreams’ Film Captures Myanmar’s Hope, Trauma, War & Love
6. Theatres of War: Military vs Resistance Cinema

Do: Na is a Burmese writer who has been dedicating her career to arts and cultural journalism for many years now. Her works have appeared in international magazines and publications and in the leading local media in Myanmar. As much as she likes to broaden and deepen her research subjects, she finds it appealing to bridge the gap between academic and journalistic writing, and literature.

Since a series of political crisis in Myanmar has greatly debilitated its arts and cultural journalism, Do: Na believes that it can be strengthened again to a certain degree with such creative approaches as researching on less-explored, yet fundamental subjects and experimenting on the imaginative forms of arts and cultural writing.

“During the ArtsEquator Fellowship program I would like to research and document some of the prominent features of the current situations of Myanmar’s film industry, whose natures are unprecedented in the country’s modern history… I hope to emphasize, through my participation during the fellowship, the power of arts and cultural journalism, and the value of networking with international cultural professionals.”

Eka Putra Nggalu

FELLOWSHIP PROJECT:
1. Merantai Lewat Bunyi: Perihal Metodologi dan Estetika dari Residensi dan Konser Ceramah ‘Musik Kampung Pesta Flores’ [Google Translate]
2. Puno, Kali dan Cerita yang Membuat Saya Mengingat Pantai Tempat Bermain di Masa Kecil [Google Translate]
3. “Saya Takut Bapak!”: Tubuh, Memori, dan Trauma dalam Perjalanan Keaktoran Ari Dwianto [Google Translate] 
4. Video: Aktivisme Kultural Waria di Maumere (Transfer Cultural Activism in Maumere)
 

Eka Putra Nggalu completed his philosophy education at STFK Ledalero Maumere. He was one of the initiators-founders and is currently responsible as the director of the Komunitas KAHE in Indonesia. Together with the KAHE, he works as a producer, director as well as curator for works and various platforms for music, exhibition making and theatre, including  Maumerelogia Festival,  Siselo Susurang Festival, Maumere Exhibition, Jamming Sastra and Flores Writers Festival. He also manages and writes for  laune.id, an art and cultural online media.

Eka will be exploring the dance and music culture in Maumere during his Fellowship. “I want to write about practices that take place outside the mainstream art scene in Indonesia. I believe that art is a means of producing certain knowledge about society so that writing about art practices and culture in the periphery of Indonesia is also an effort to offer local and contextual knowledge to more global conversations and discourses.”

Jay M. Rosas

FELLOWSHIP PROJECT:
1. Video Essay: This Land is Mined: Selected Short Films from Davao de Ora
2. Podcast: The Mindanao Imaginary in Cinemalaya
3. Podcast | Article: Davao City Through the Lens of Local Filmmaking’s New Breed – Wowa Medrosa and Conrad dela Cruz 
4. The Unwavering Filipino Spirit to Make Films on the Sidelines
5. Podcast: Departure, return: The region as liminal space in 3 Filipino films
6. Here & Beyond: Revealing the Richness of Philippine Regional Cinema
 

Jay Rosas is a film programmer, critic, organizer, and filmmaker based in Davao City, Philippines. He co-founded Pasalidahay, a local film collective which organizes film screenings and workshops. He programs films for the Ngilngig Asian Fantastic Film Festival Davao, Mindanao Film Festival, and Cinema Rehiyon. His writing has been published in Pelikula Journal, Mindanao Times, and New Durian Cinema. He participated in the Film Criticism Workshop of the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival in 2015, and the “Working Title” program for Asian film curators in Japan (2017) and Thailand (2018). He produced and co-directed the short documentary Budots: The Craze in 2019, which was part of the first Daang Dokyu: Festival of Philippine Documentaries, and was nominated for the Gawad Urian and FAMAS Awards in 2020.

Jay’s Fellowship will explore cinemas from the region in the Philippines, with particular focus on contemporary Mindanao cinema. He hopes that through this Fellowship, he can “encourage more writers from the regions to write about their own cinemas and to be more engaged in their filmmaking communities— seeking, questioning, being part of its evolution.”

We regret to share the news of the early departure of one of our Fellows from the ArtsEquator Fellowship. We appreciate his/her contribution and wish him/her the best in all future endeavors.

SELECTION PANEL

Amir Muhammad 

Amir Muhammad is a Malaysian who produces movies (under the company Kuman Pictures) and books (under Buku Fixi). His previous work as film director include the banned-in-Malaysia documentaries The Last Communist (2006) and Village People Radio Show (2007). As writer, his books include Yasmin Ahmad’s Films (2009) and 120 Malay Movies (2010). As editor, his books include KL Noir: Red (2013) and The Big Book of Malaysian Horror Stories (2022).

Katrina Stuart Santiago

Katrina Stuart Santiago is an essayist, cultural critic, opinion writer, and book author from Manila, with a decade of work in print and online. Her role as critic has fueled her activism, which cuts across issues of cultural labor, systemic dysfunctions, and institutional crises. She is a teacher of writing and criticism at the College of Saint Benilde, a book maker at small press and bookshop Everything’s Fine, and is contributor to the International Association of Theater Critics’s online platform, Critical Stages. She founded People for Accountable Governance and Sustainable Action-PAGASAph that seeks to provide the space for political action from younger civil society actors. She is part of the 2021 cohort of the Feminist Journalist Project of the Association of Women’s Rights in Development, is a 2023 Public Intellectual of the Democracy Discourse Series of the De La Salle University, and is part of UNESCO-Germany’s Fair Culture Movement. She has been writing at radikalchick.com since 2008 and is @radikalchick online. 

Nabilah Said

Nabilah Said is a playwright, editor and arts practitioner in Singapore. Nabilah is currently the editorial lead of Kontinentalist, a data storytelling studio based in Singapore. She has over 13 years’ experience working in editorial, journalism and communications.  Nabilah was the editor of ArtsEquator from 2019 to 2022, where she worked with creatives from Southeast Asia to produce original content about the arts, and mentored emerging writers. She also co-hosted the ArtsEquator podcast. Nabilah was formerly an arts correspondent with The Straits Times. As a playwright, has presented work with Teater Ekamatra, The Necessary Stage, Wild Rice, The Theatre Practice, T:<Works, as well as independent creatives in Singapore. 

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