ArtsEquator’s Southeast Asia Radar features articles and posts about arts and culture in Southeast Asia, drawn from local and regional websites and publications – aggregated content from outside sources, so we are exposed to a multitude of voices in the region. In the weekly Southeast Asia Radar, we publish a round-up of content that have been scoured and sifted from a range of regional news websites, blogs and media platforms.
Here is this week’s Southeast Asia Radar:
A Film Legend’s Guide into Acting
Khmer Times, Cambodia
Legendary TV and Film Producer and the man behind BAFTA-winning TV programme EastEnders and Taste of Life, an iconic HIV-related TV drama in Cambodia, Matthew Robinson, now running Khmer Mekong Film in Phnom Penh, offers his advice to the young people who dream pursuing a career in acting.
Imagine this scene in a movie:
A film producer, finishing his meal in a restaurant, goes to the cash desk to settle his bill. As the pretty young manageress takes his money, she looks embarrassed and coughs.
“Erm … Sir … you’re a famous movie producer, right?”
Keeping theatre alive
Bangkok Post, Thailand
How do you prove to the government you’re a theatre artist? When large gatherings are banned and theatres are closed and your work deemed non-essential, how does that affect your income ? Or does it? Are you eligible for the government relief fund Rao Mai Ting Kan then? Is theatre-making a job in Thailand to begin with?
The current global health crisis and unprecedented measures by governments across the world have forced both artists and the government to face many complicated questions, especially in an artistic field as underdeveloped as contemporary theatre in Thailand. The Ministry of Culture didn’t neglect people in the arts, however, and reached out to artists within their network to assess their needs and help them access government funding. Folk and traditional artists saw their gigs cancelled and found themselves suddenly without any income. The likay artists were especially vocal and started calling for government help just days after the lockdown began in March. In early May, the government announced that artists, namely folk artists, qualified for the relief fund.
Where is the government’s long-promised arts and culture endowment?
Jakarta Post, Indonesia
At a meeting of artists and cultural activists after the 2018 Indonesian Cultural Congress, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo pledged to set up a Rp 5 trillion (US$342.1 million) endowment fund in 2020 to improve cultural development and support cultural activities throughout the country.
Welcomed by many, the pledge followed through on provisions set out in Law No. 5/2017 on cultural promotion, which regulates the country’s cultural property registry, the preservation of manuscripts and works of art, and the incorporation of creative practices into the national development agenda under a “cultural strategy”.
Fast forward to the current day, and the reality is that the government has allocated Rp 1 trillion from the 2020 state budget, just a fifth of what Jokowi had initially promised.
Take a feminist day tour of Yangon
Whether defying male power structures or helping each other advance, Myanmar’s women have bucked authority or taken matters into their own hands throughout Myanmar’s history – and today.
To better experience a more feminist version of our history and encourage support for the women helping make change today, we’ve compiled a short, day tour of Yangon highlighting places around the city.
Consider this your introduction to Yangon’s feminine side, and know that new events, exhibitions and discussion panels led by or featuring strong Myanmar women are always taking place in Yangon, and we highly encourage you to do some digging around online for things that pique your interest – especially now that everything is a click away.
Online entertainment platforms compete for exclusive content
Viet Nam News
Multiple online entertainment platforms have started to provide exclusive content as the COVID-19 pandemic has caused an increase in demand for such services.
Online entertainment site POPS has launched on its site a section called POPS Comic, which offers hundreds of world-leading comic books and webtoons for Vietnamese viewers.
Many Vietnamese comics titles, exclusively purchased by POPS, were viewed for free during the site’s first days of release.
Filipino artists flood Twitter with #JunkTerrorBill as nation inches closer to passing Anti-Terrorism Bill
Mashable Southeast Asia
The Philippines edges closer to passing the Anti-Terrorism Act of 2020, but local Filipinos refuse to let it pass without a fight.
The act, also known as Senate Bill 1083, claims to strengthen the country through stricter laws and is fast tracked to being approved in the country’s Senate.
But Filipinos are criticizing the bill and are calling for revisions to be made through the hashtags #JunkTerrorBill and #JunkTerrorBillNow on social media.
While many are sharing petitions and emailing their concerns to local senators, Filipino artists are criticizing the bill’s amendments through art.
About the author(s)
Nabilah Said is an award-winning playwright, editor and cultural commentator. She is also an artist who works with text across various artforms and formats. Her plays have been staged in Singapore and London, including ANGKAT, which won Best Original Script at the 2020 Life Theatre Awards. Nabilah is the former editor of ArtsEquator.