Last update: 10 June 2020 by Andrea Abellon

Since the global pandemic unfolded rapidly, the old school quarantine and social distancing have been the most accepted and effective methods in ‘flattening the curve’ of infections. As a result, galleries, events, festivals and exhibitions have all closed or suspended activities.  

Now as we sit at our new workspaces at home, many are adapting and finding new ways to work and connect with each other. For artists and arts communities in particular, there has been an outpouring of initiatives to make art at home, collaborate with fellow artists, share new and past creations online, and provide free online classes or performances.

Our very own alumni – former grantees of Mobility First! programme – have been busy co-creating and collaborating in solidarity with their communities, in the arts and beyond. We hope that the following activities of our alumni may keep you inspired, creative and connected during this downturn.  

This list will be updated regularly. If you are a previous grantee of Mobility First!, we welcome you to share with us your #lockdown activities by sending an email to mobilityfirst@asef.org.  

Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts

Jayachandran Palazhy from Attakkalari Centre for Movement Arts is a beneficiary of Mobility First! Special Open Call with the support of the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 2020.

While the lockdown in India has their centre is closed, the movement continues online. They are determined to continue offering quality dance education to students in any way possible. Starting April 2020, all community dance classes are now available online! These classes are open to students across the world. All you need is a stable internet connection, and you can join any of the master faculty for classes in Contemporary Dance, Kalaripayattu (martial arts), Bharatanatyam, Yoga, Pilates, Functional Fitness, Kids dance classes, Hip Hop and Bollywood too!

For the complete class schedule, click here

Centre 42

With most of us staying home, this might be an opportunity to catch up on Centre 42’s programming from the past 6 years. Mobility First! supported 5 cultural practitioners to participate in the Asian Dramaturgs Network Lab in 2018.

As an organisation committed to the documentation in Singapore theatre, you can find the various recordings of ‘Centre 42 presents’ events

The Vault: https://centre42.sg/our-programmes/the-vault/

Living Room: https://centre42.sg/our-programmes/living-room/

Basement Workshop: https://centre42.sg/our-programmes/basement-workshop/

Rashmi Dhanwani

Rashmi Dhanwani is the Founder of The Art X Company, a strategic consultancy for the cultural sector focused on strategy, audience development and sector research, based in Mumbai, India. In 2018, Mobility First! supported Rashmi’s travel to London to connect and collaborate with individuals and organisations working in the field of art therapy and mental health.

Interested in festival management, leadership and governance in the festival sector? The Art X Company collaborates with British Council India on Festival Connections, an online webinar series that features representatives of various festivals from Chennai, Bengaluru, Kolkata and the UK. In the most recent session Coping with Covid-19: Financial Health Management for Cultural Festivals, the webinar looked at how festivals can manage their finances and maintain financial health during these uncertain times

Watch the webinar here: https://youtu.be/0oz44Ryh3Uw

Mobility First! supported 3 participants from India to attend the ESKWELA: Art Educational Programme, an experimental school for transdisciplinary thought in art making and curatorial practice, brought together by BAP— Bellas Artes Projects in Makati, Philippines

Due to the community quarantine measures in the Philippines, BAP has launched an online learning platform, which includes virtual talks, screenings, and encounters with guests, as well as resource materials uploaded on eskwelabap.com and on BAP’s social media; available at any time, free of charge.

Watch the latest installment in the video below held on 4 June, Queer Filipiniana, in which transgender historian and critical theorist Susan Stryker shared her experience exploring the relationship between embodiment and image-making.

Kat Roma Greer

Kathleen is the Artistic Director and Founder of Micro Galleries: Changing the World…in small and creative ways. Micro Galleries is a free global arts initiative, social impact project and virtual creative hub that uses art as a vehicle to create positive change and potentially find artistic solutions to global and local issues. In 2018, Mobiliy First! supported Kat’s travel from Hong Kong to Svalbard, Norway to participate in the The Artic Circle Residency program.

Micro Galleries has recently launched its new 2020 programme Respond / Revive which includes COVIDx Talks, an online two-hour series of TEDx/Pecha Kucha – style chats. On 20 May 2020, the first edition will explore the concept of ‘Creating with Uncertainty’.

To join, register for free here: http://microgalleries.org/program#rec186144590

Photo source: https://microgalleries.org/

Maya Dance Theatre

Mobility First! supported 3 artists from Maya Dance Theatre to travel to Berlin and Cologne, Germany in 2019.

As ‘Circuit Breaker’ measures kick in in Singapore, which effectively shuts down all non-essential work places and schools, MDT presents Maya Dance Theatre’s Virtual Stage – a series of online performances featuring artists from Singapore and overseas. With the goal of rediscovering connections in spite of physical isolation, MDT initiated Virtual Stage to create a shared space which allows artists to give time to one another and understand their practice. While we may be physically apart, Virtual Stage acts as a platform to continue sharing the gift of presence, connecting artists and the community to experience another’s craft.

Catch the 2nd edition titled ‘In I-solation’ here: http://www.mayadancetheatre.org/events/in-i-solation

Bussola

Mobility First! supported 2 Asian nationals to participate in “Korean Focus” at LEME Festival, from 5 to 8 December 2019 at Ílhavo, Portugal. Organised by Bussola, LEME is festival which explores the new languages of contemporary circus and the artistic creation for unconventional spaces, whilst experimenting with different creative approaches.

In February 2020, Bussola has taken its Outdoor Arts Talks series online. Outdoor Arts Portugal is an independent platform with focus the contemporary artistic creation in the fields of street arts and circus, that faces mentoring and capacity building. With the onset of Covid-19 pandemic, Bussola continues the conversations online. The series consist of 3 editions (to be held on 13 May, 16 Jun and 30 Jun) and the sessions are held through ZOOM. Participation is free of charge.

For details and registration: https://bit.ly/3d2lXs2

https://www.facebook.com/BussolaPDAC/posts/1587244911422621

Photo source: www.facebook.com/BussolaPDAC

Performance Space

Performance Space is Australia’s leading organisation for the development and presentation of experimental art. Mobility First! supported the mobility of 3 Asian and 1 European nationals to participate in Liveworks Festival of Experimental Art, organized by Performance Space, from 17 to 27 October 2019 in Sydney, Australia.

Performance Space is going digital with a virtual edition of Fusebox Festival from 24-26 April 2020. This Virtual Edition will feature live-streamed performances, conversations, studio visits, interactive activities, happy hours, a Fusebox Day-Spa™, exhibitions, and much more. Think Public Access TV meets international block party meets live performance!

https://performancespace.com.au/programs/current-programs/fusebox-festival-virtual-edition/

Adam Sutherland

Mobility First! supported Adam’s travel from Manchester, UK to Kikugawa, Japan to partake in an exchange programme to create creative enterprises in rural villages, particularly developing a programme of residencies in the coming years.

Adam is the Arts Director of Grizedale Arts, an organisation dedicated to enriching culture through artistic activities that involve the rural environment. Due to the closure of their office, Grizedale Arts is planning a series of non-residential commissions and work opportunities to support their alumni and the wider creative community. Watch their social media feeds and Opportunities page here for details. They have also been contributing to the local Crake Valley community network with delivery soups and meals.

Finally, Adam is conducting a live Virtual Visiting Day on Instagram on 15 May as they have had to cancel their ‘in person’ visiting day due to Covid-19. Watch the live stream on 15 May 10.00GMT – 18.00GMT here: https://www.instagram.com/grizedale.arts/

Neeraj Bhasin

Neeraj is an artist, designer and filmmaker. As the founder of Heritage Commons, Neeraj is deeply involved in promoting varied aspects of India’s heritage, from monuments, artworks, artefacts to museums using innovative technology such as augmented reality, project mapping, touch screen signages etc.

Organised by ARThinkSouthAsia, Neeraj will be co-facilitating an online session about Digital Futures, to brainstorm about some of the issues that the arts sector is facing in these uncertain times.

Register here for the session at end-April: https://forms.gle/uA29tHSxqByCrgPs6

Le Cam Nhung

Nhung’s travel from Vietnam to India to participate in the 7th ASEMUS General Conference was supported by the Pilot round of Mobility First! in March 2017, making her one of the first grantees of the programme.

Nhung is in charge of the Communication and International Cooperation Department at the Vietnamese Women’s Museum (VWM). Despite the closure of the museum, they are ensuring the continuity of their work. While we cannot visit the museum for now, they are bringing the museum to us via their YouTube channel here.

Through this online content, VWM brings us detailed stories about the characters and artifacts on display or in storage at the museum

Watch the first episode: “Rice Storage Jars – The story of Unity”: https://youtu.be/6lYWT7MW_bY

Stay tuned and discover their story in the coming episodes.

Vietnamese Women's Museum
Vietnamese Women's Museum: Objects and Stories

Akira Takayama

Akira Takayama travelled from Tokyo, Japan to Riga, Latvia to participate at the ‘Japan Focus’ of the International Festival of Contemporary Theatre Homo Novus 2019 through the support of Mobility First! ‘Japan Focus’ was one of the central programmes of the festival in 2019, where Japanese artists/collectives are invited to collaborate with Latvian artists to co-develop new works based on Riga’s historical, social and cultural contexts.   

Mr Takayama is the founder of Port B, a project-specific theatre collective aimed at fostering collaborative relationships with artists and a diverse range of artistic interventions, including installations in urban space, experimental social projects, and performative tours and lectures.

Mr Takayama participates as a speaker for online talk series ‘Hikikomori City’. The sixth volume titled Scene: Connecting architects from all over the world will be streamed live on Zoom on 10 May at 20:21h (Tokyo time). The talk will feature Japanese architects living abroad where they will discuss the changes to the world’s architecture and urban living due to Covid-19. Mr Takayama will also share his thoughts on the theatre scene in the era of Covid-19.

Register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_41V5wyMTQ7Ox0pT65VREpg

Scene webinar 10 May
Source: https://www.facebook.com/portb.official

Ronald Walter

Ronald Walter is a Berlin-based  performing artist and author with  full-body  spastic  paralysis. In 2019, Mobility First! supported his travel from Berlin to Melbourne and Bunbury, Australia to collaborate with an Australian choreographer on a dance duet SKIN.

Roland continues to create art whether music, photography, dance, and writing to inspire and demonstrate methods to dismantle inhibitions towards people with disabilities. In collaboration with Claudia Heland, Roland released a new video/filmed performance ‘Desisto del Sol’.

Watch here:

https://www.facebook.com/roland.walter63/posts/10206865732357981

https://youtu.be/JjsJS1zOsQs

Lavrente Diaz

Through the Mobility First! grant, filmmaker Lav Diaz travelled from Philippines to the United Kingdom to premier his latest film at the 15th Berwick Film and Media Arts Festival. Lav believes that the responsibility of a filmmaker does not stop at making films alone but also having the ability to make these films accessible to the world.

As such, Lav has made his films available online and here are the links as to where you can rent them: https://www.facebook.com/sineoliviapilipinas/

Linh Ha Bui

As a musician from Viet Nam who specialises in electronic and contemporary music, Linh Ha was supported through the Mobility First! grant to participate in Blind Signal VTNM GRMN for an artist residency and public concert. The programme aims to promote artistic and cultural exchange between German and Vietnamese artists.

Linh Ha has been streaming her music online on various platforms. Tune in to her music here: https://www.facebook.com/linhhafornow

Alyana Cabral

Alyana is a musician and writer from Manila, Philippines. Mobility First! supported her travel to participate in the Arisan Tenggara workshop and residency organised by the Biennnale Jogja Foundation.

Alyana joins the #LockdownSessions, an online concert series organised by the Concerned Artists of the Philippines and Altermidya. Through music, the artists stand in solidarity with the most vulnerable sectors who need support and consolation during these uncertain times under Covid-19.

Watch Alyana and the rest of the #LockdownSessions here:

https://www.facebook.com/altermidya/videos/2288403454786776/

About the Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF)

The Asia-Europe Foundation (ASEF) is an intergovernmental not-for-profit organisation located in Singapore. Founded in 1997, it is the only institution of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM). ASEF promotes understanding, trengthens relationships and facilitates cooperation among the people, institutions and organisations of Asia and Europe. ASEF enhances dialogue, enables exchanges and encourages collaboration across the thematic areas of culture, education, governance, sustainable development, economy and public health.

For more information, please visit the www.ASEF.org.