Sounding Southeast Asian Networks in the UK and Europe

Project: Research

Project Details


Sounding Southeast Asian Networks in the UK & Europe
2023-04-05 By Sonic Entanglements
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.
Short titleConference Organisation
Effective start/end date1/12/221/08/23