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Sugar Nutmeg

Sugar Nutmeg

Author: Ruth Feriningrum and Alexandra Kumala

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Featuring casual conversations that unpack complex topics, Ruth Feriningrum and Alexandra Kumala talk to fellow Southeast Asians about Southeast Asia. Support this podcast:
28 Episodes
Inspired by her grandfather, who followed the stars to navigate the seas and landscape of Bangka, Janette shares the colorful journey of her astrophysics career. She talks to us about black holes, massive stars, supernova explosions, and how reverse culture shock can almost derail you from your career. Optional: episode to be enjoyed with a plate of pempek. -- Janette Suherli is a PhD student at the University of Manitoba, Canada, working with Dr. Samar Safi-Harb in the eXtreme Astrophysics Group. Her doctoral research focuses on utilizing integral field spectroscopy for supernova remnants research in optical wavelength, particularly on Central Compact Objects (CCOs) and Intermediate-Mass Black Holes. Aside from doing research, she writes for Astrobites and volunteers at the Lockhart Planetarium, Winnipeg. She is a co-organizer for the Open Cultural Astronomy Forum and currently serves as the chair of the Graduate Student Committee at the Canadian Astronomical Society (CASCA). Janette completed her Bachelor in Astronomy at Institut Teknologi Bandung, Indonesia and her Master’s in Astronomy at Wesleyan University, U.S.A., where she was also a Fulbright Fellow. She has also conducted research internships at the European Southern Observatory in Chile and the Australian Astronomical Observatory in Australia, in addition to her former position as Assistant Astronomer at the Bosscha Observatory in Indonesia. --- Support this podcast:
Damar talks to us about his research on supernatural phenomena. We discuss different elements and even marketing methods used by dukun in Indonesia. Plus, paranormal sensitivities, indigo people, and Ruth's untapped powers. Everything is magic is Southeast Asia. -- Andamar Pradipta obtained his bachelor’s degree in Social Anthropology from Universitas Indonesia. He then continued his studies at Central European University in Hungary, and graduated with an M.A. in Sociology and Social Anthropology in 2016. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. at Universiti Malaysia Kelantan. His research interests include psychology, marketing, corporate culture, and supernatural phenomena. Due to his anthropological background, he has a strong fascination with qualitative research which he actively works on and develops at the Indonesia International Institute for Life-Sciences, where he also teaches. --- Support this podcast:
Elliott talks to us about the Rohingya political situation amidst dislocation and mass violence, especially after the coup in Myanmar, and how R-Coin is a new initiative helping stateless Rohingya diaspora in Malaysia. --- Elliott Prasse-Freeman is a political anthropologist studying social movements, violence, and symbolic culture in Burma. As part of a related ongoing project on the Rohingya genocide, he is exploring novel forms of personhood and conceptions of the political as they are mediated by and generated through new technologies such as blockchain, biometric scanners, and AI. He received his PhD from the Department of Anthropology at Yale University and his Bachelors and Masters from Harvard University. He has conducted long-term fieldwork in Myanmar, and currently teaches sociology and anthropology at the National University of Singapore. He has a book, titled Rights Refused: Grassroots Activism and State Violence in Myanmar (Stanford University Press) on Burmese subaltern political thought as adduced from an extended ethnography of activism and contentious politics in the country's semi-authoritarian setting. --- Support this podcast:
Emy talks to us about disinformation challenges in Southeast Asia and its evolving relationship with democracy, civil society participation, and digital maturity. To be enjoyed with a hearty bowl of Sinigang! Emy Ruth Gianan is a full-time professor teaching classes on public policy, governance, and development economics at the Polytechnic University of the Philippines, Manila. Alongside teaching, she work as Chief of Internal Relations Services of the university’s Communication Management Office to harmonize policies and processes centered on digital communications. She also undertakes research endeavors focused on disinformation trends across Southeast Asia and its impact on democratization; civil society participation; digital communication processes; and the nexus of decentralization and regionalism efforts. Her current research endeavor is focused on comparative disinformation challenges in Southeast Asia and its evolving relationship with democracy and digital transformation. She is also host of the Taglish podcast Extra Notes. --- Support this podcast:
Ernst and Veronika talk to us about their process of composing Expedition Content, the augmented sound piece composed from 37 hours of recordings which document the encounter between members of the Harvard Peabody Expedition, particularly Michael Rockefeller of the Rockefeller family, and the Hubula people of West Papua, at the time Nederlands New Guinea. The piece reflects on visual anthropology, the lives of the Hubula and of Michael, and the ongoing history of colonialism and occupation in West Papua. “Expedition Content” premiered at the 70th Berlin International Film Festival and has been screened at Cinéma du Réel at the Centre Pompidou Paris, the Art of the Real, Lincoln Center New York, and Camden international Film Festival. Veronika Kusumaryati is a social anthropologist and artist working on the issues of Indigenous politics, conflict and violence, race/racism, and digital media. The geographic focus of her research is Indonesia, primarily West Papua, a self-identifying term referring to Indonesia’s easternmost provinces of Papua and West Papua, where she has conducted extensive fieldwork since 2012. She holds a Ph.D. in anthropology with a secondary field in film and visual studies from Harvard University and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Asian Studies Program at the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, and the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University during the 2020-2021 academic year. Her writings have been published in journals, such as Comparative Studies in Society and History and Critical Asian Studies. She is an incoming assistant professor in anthropology and international studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison starting in the spring of 2023. Ernst Karel works with sound, including electroacoustic music, experimental nonfiction sound works for multichannel installation and performance, image-sound collaboration, and postproduction sound for nonfiction vilm, with an emphasis on observational cinema. Lately he works around the practice of actuality/location recording (or 'fields [plural] recording') and composing with those recordings, with recent projects also taking up archival location recordings. Sound projections have been presented at Sonic Acts, Amsterdam; Oboro, Montreal; EMPAC, Troy NY; Arsenal, Berlin; and the 2014 Whitney Biennial. Sound installations in collaboration with Helen Mirra have been exhibited at the Gardner Museum, Boston; Culturgest, Lisbon; KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin; Audiorama, Stockholm; MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge; and in the 2012 Sao Paulo Bienal. Audio-video collaborations include Expedition Content (2020, with Veronika Kusumaryati), Ah humanity! (2015, with Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Véréna Paravel) and Single Stream (2014, with Toby Lee and Pawel Wojtasik). CDs of his often collaborative work, including with the electroacoustic duo EKG, have been released on and/OAR, Another Timbre, Cathnor, Gruenrekorder, Locust, Sedimental, and Sshpuma record labels, and a duo with Bhob Rainey is forthcoming on Erstwhile. From 2006 until 2017 he managed the Sensory Ethnography Lab at Harvard University, doing postproduction sound for vilms including Sweetgrass, The Iron Ministry, Manakamana, and Leviathan. He has taught audio recording and composition through the Sensory Ethnography Lab at Harvard (through 2021), the Center for Experimental Ethnography at Penn (2019), and the Department of Film & Media at UC Berkeley (2022). --- Support this podcast:
Ruth and Alexandra often find themselves furious about foreigners coming to the "exotic" islands of Indonesia and using the archipelago as a pretty background for their Instagram photos or YouTube vlogs. With Fred Clapp, they share stories of treading responsibly on foreign lands, deromanticizing distant locales, and finding a home halfway across the world. Plus, feline hierarchies, protesting babi guling, practical forms of censorship in Vietnam, exporting culture, and the constant cycle of imperialism. Maybe make yourself some Mexican food to accompany this episode! Frederic Clapp is a Vietnam-based game designer and cat enthusiast originally from Mexico City. He is passionate about interactive narratives and how game systems provide a good model for understanding the systems governing our world. His passion for designing games and interactive narratives took him to Ho Chi Minh City, where he has been living for the last 5 years. There, he spends his time trying new food and writing about cats he meets in his travels around Vietnam and Southeast Asia. IG: @CatsofSEA --- Support this podcast:
Special Episode!

Special Episode!


Alexandra is in CDMX shooting a film and Ruth is off to Bali to reunite with her boyfriend. We recorded this episode last month to reflect on borders, passports, visas, Indonesian cartels, “forbidden areas” and the Forbidden Fruit. Is this the episode in which we get cancelled? As always, let’s feast and find out. Don't forget to tip: And leave us a review: --- Support this podcast:
Pailin Wedel talks to us about her Emmy-winning, Netflix-acquired film, Hope Frozen, and her work with Al Jazeera across Southeast Asia. We discuss death, the afterlife, the ecosystem of documentary filmmaking and journalistic work in Southeast Asia, and the power of radical hope. -- Pailin Wedel is a journalist and filmmaker best known for directing and producing the documentary Hope Frozen, which started streaming on Netflix in 2020, and is first Thai film to win an International Emmy. It screened at more than twenty festivals worldwide and won Best International Feature at HotDocs in Toronto and Best Documentary Feature at the San Antonio Independent Film Festival, among many other awards. Other than her documentary work, she regularly reports/directs reportage films for Al Jazeera English’s current affairs program 101 East, including a documentary series on Thailand's medical tourism industry and the drug trade that passes through Myanmar. Pailin grew up in Asia and began her career in 2004 as a photojournalist for an American newspaper. She quickly fell in love with video narratives and taught herself how to film video. In her spare time, Pailin teaches short courses on video and mobile journalism. Previously, she worked for multiple publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, National Geographic, and Associated Press. With her husband, she also founded 2050 Productions, a Bangkok-based documentary team, in 2016. 2050 Productions IG: @pailiner --- Support this podcast:
Thi My Lien Nguyen talks to us about Viet-Lao identity, the Vietnamese diaspora in Switzerland versus France, Germany, and the U.S., the types of dishes she cooks to honor the dead, working with folklore and foodways, and starting Mili's Supper Club. Plus, Swiss cheese, chocolate cake, the different funeral processions in Indonesia, and more! Thi My Lien Nguyen is a Swiss-Vietnamese lens-based artist, supper club host, and food artist working and located in Winterthur, Switzerland. Her image-making practice, often using ethnographic methods, are focused on issues of identity, migration, diasporas and the communities. She questions mechanisms dynamics and processes within families and trans-cultural communities.  Her interest lies between the fine line of documentary and photographic art. She focused her work on issues of identity, migration, diasporas, and the communities.  Her projects include 'Mời, mời,' in which she interprets the diverse experiences of secondas and secondos, and 'Hiếu thảo – With love and respect,' in which she connects the past & present of navigating and negotiating Vietnamese heritage and Swiss culture with the maternal lineage of her family. IG: @myliennguyen Twitter: @myliennguyen IG: @milissupperclub --- Support this podcast:
Sim Chi Yin walks us through her ongoing project "One Day We'll Remember": uncovering family secrets, visiting ancestral villages, collecting artefacts and archival materials, and making counter archives with family members and locals from her grandfather's neighborhood in Gaoshang after he was deported from British Malaya for his anti-colonial resistance against the British occupying forces. She raises major topics such as what are the things we choose to remember and things we choose to forget in relation to trauma and malu, and the different ways wars have been documented in Southeast Asia. She also talks to us about her artistic drive and artistic direction. *In our first in-person episode, Alexandra had a chance to visit and interview Chiyin at her studio in Brooklyn, New York. Sim Chi Yin is an artist from Singapore, currently based between Brooklyn and Berlin. For the first decade of her multi-faceted career, she was a print journalist, foreign correspondent, and photographer. She was commissioned as the Nobel Peace Prize photographer in 2017 to make work about its winner, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons.  After quitting her job as foreign correspondent, she became an independent visual practitioner. She combines rigorous research with intimate storytelling, she pursues self-directed projects in Asia. Her work explores history, memory, and migration and its consequences. In particular, she dove into a lesser-known part of her own family history in "One Day We'll Understand," a project that revolves around her grandfather, Shen Huansheng, who was a left-wing journalist involved in the anti-colonial resistance movement in British Malaya. Through her careful documentation, in both film and photography, Sim considers the processes of remembrance and forgetting as well as the fragility of the notion of truth. Her work has been exhibited in the Istanbul Biennale (2017), at the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, the Annenberg Space For Photography in Los Angeles, Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art in South Korea, and other galleries and institutions in Europe, the United States and Asia. Her film and multimedia work have also been screened at Les rencontres d’Arles and Visa pour l'Image festivals in France, and the Singapore International Film Festival. She has worked on assignments for global publications, such as The New York Times Magazine, Time Magazine, National Geographic, The New Yorker and Harper's Bazaar. Chi Yin won the Chris Hondros Fund award in 2018. A finalist for the 2013 W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography, she was an inaugural Magnum Foundation Photography and Social Justice fellow in 2010 in New York. She is now a tutor and mentor on the fellowship. In 2014, she was Her World Magazine's "Young Woman Achiever of the Year". Chi Yin read history at the London School of Economics and Political Science for her first two degrees, and was a staff journalist and foreign correspondent for a decade before quitting to become an independent visual practitioner in 2011. IG: @chiyin_sim --- Support this podcast:
We talk about protest-dressing, dopamine-dressing, performance-dressing, all the subtle and unsubtle ways of sales associates, and more! Xingyun is a freelance researcher and writer who advocates for a more humane fashion system through her work. She studied Fashion Sustainability and Digital Fashion Management at the London College of Fashion and is now the country coordinator for Fashion Revolution Singapore. Seeking to address the importance of intersectionality when analysing fashion sustainability, she runs @noordinaryprotest as a platform to call for a shift in mindset. Her favourite time of the day is 5pm, and her go-to fashion activity is swapping. IG: @noordinaryprotest Fashion Revolution Singapore --- Support this podcast:
We talk to Juliette Yu-Ming Lizeray about her adventures with the Cariocas of Brazil, making films with tsunami survivors in Aceh, working with repatriated migrants in Buenos Aires, syncretism between Afro-Cuban religions and Taoism & Buddhism in Cuba, and interviewing the Southeast Asian restauranteurs of New York City. Plus, surprising similarities that Juliette found between Rio de Janeiro and Singapore, Ruth’s take on “food wars” in Southeast Asia, and a little story about the time Barack Obama’s mother first came to Indonesia, as told by Hadipurnomo to Alexandra! What is “carne de rã” codeword for? Why is a cake that has no carrots called “carrot cake”? What does it mean to be a multipotentialite in today’s world? In classic Sugar Nutmeg style, let’s feast and find out! Juliette Yu-Ming Lizeray is an anthropologist, writer, filmmaker, and visual artist based in Singapore and New York City. She obtained an MSc in Anthropology and Development from the London School of Economics, and a BA in Cultural Anthropology from Tufts University. She conducted anthropological field research among tsunami survivors in Aceh, Central American communities in Boston, the Chinese diaspora in Cuba, indigenous communities in Brazil, and South American migrants in the informal settlements of Buenos Aires. More recently, she has carried out research on music and intercultural theatre in Singapore. Juliette also works as a freelance writer and has published exclusive stories about Singapore’s doomsday preppers, furries, buskers and sneakerheads, as well as on ghost-hunting, sustainable urban farming, and the oldest Teochew opera troupe in Singapore. Her first book, The Human Spirit Can Overcome Tragedy, is about Acehnese tsunami survivors. Her ethnography of the Central American Solidarity Movement and grassroots organising was published by the Tufts University Anthropology department. As a visual artist, she has received several international awards for her documentary and experimental films. Her work has screened at festivals in over 45 countries, including États Généraux du Film Documentaire (France), the Anthology Film Archives (USA), Cine Esquema Novo (Brazil), and Women in Film and TV International Showcase (USA), among others. Juliette’s video art and installations have shown at galleries in Rio de Janeiro and New York City. Bringing together her love of anthropology, storytelling and the moving image, she worked as a filmmaking instructor at the Fluminense Federal University in Rio de Janeiro, traveling across Brazil to empower members of indigenous communities to tell their stories through documentary films. The program of films she curated, “Dialogues with the Unseen: Short Films from Southeast Asia” is currently playing at the Museum of Moving Image: --- Support this podcast:
Special Holiday Episode! Coinciding with the release of "Happy Stories, Mostly", we talk to Norman Erikson Pasaribu and Tiffany Tsao about their work as translators of each others work and as individual writers themselves. Between Sydney, Bekasi, Bogor and New York, we discuss cultural untranslatability, creating new languages, building new memories through language, and why it’s difficult for readers to appreciate Indonesian literature.  Plus, K-Dramas, fanfics, sinetron, past-less and futureless characters, and whether Dia, Ia, and Nya will be extinct in the future. Whether it's turkey, sate, noodles, nastar, or roll cake, may this Two-Hour Holiday Special accompany your holiday cooking, prep and feast! Norman Erikson Pasaribu is a writer, translator, and editor. His first short story collection Hanya Kamu yang Tahu Berapa Lama Lagi Aku Harus Menunggu (Only You Know How Much Longer I Should Wait) was shortlisted for the 2014 Khatulistiwa Literary Award for Prose. His debut poetry collection Sergius Mencari Bacchus (Sergius Seeks Bacchus) won the 2015 Jakarta Arts Council Poetry Competition, was shortlisted for the 2016 Khatulistiwa Literary Award for Poetry, and was one of the best poetry collections of that year by Tempo Magazine. He was also awarded the Young Author Award from the Southeast Asia Literary Council and was chosen as Writer in Residence in Vietnam by the Indonesian National Book Committee and Ministry of Education and Culture. He draws on his experiences queer writer of Batak descent and Christian background. In his work, he plays with alternative gospel, speculative fiction, loneliness, and happiness…mostly.  Tiffany Tsao is a writer and literary translator. She is the author of The Oddfits trilogy and The Majesties (originally published in Australia as Under Your Wings). Her translations from Indonesian to English include Dee Lestari’s novel Paper Boats, Laksmi Pamuntjak’s The Birdwoman’s Palate, and Norman Erikson Pasaribu’s poetry collections Sergius Seeks Bacchus and Happy Stories Mostly. Her translations of Norman’s poetry have won the English PEN Presents and English PEN Translates awards. Born in the United States and of Chinese-Indonesian descent, she spent her formative years in Singapore (8 years) and Indonesia (6 years). She has a B.A. in English literature from Wellesley College and a Ph.D. in English literature from UC-Berkeley. She now lives in Sydney, Australia with her spouse and two children. --- Support this podcast:
Nay Saysourinho talks to us about heterotopia, folktales and fairy tales, passive resistance and "passive" choices, motherhood, domesticity, and how she learned to find her voice as a writer from listening to her aunties gossip at home. Plus, the impact of the French language, the bond of la Francophonie, the nonchalance of Laotians, and all the things that get lost in translation.... Nay Saysourinho is a writer, literary critic and visual artist. She was the first recipient of the Adina Talve-Goodman Fellowship from One Story Magazine, and has received fellowships and scholarships from Kundiman, The Writers Grotto, The Mendocino Coast Writers Conference and Tin House. She was a Rona Jaffe Fellow at MacDowell in 2020 and is a Berkeley Fellow at Yale. Her writing was a recent prize winner at the Tucson Literary Awards, and has been published or is forthcoming in Kenyon Review, Ploughshares Blog, Khôra, Fairy Tale Review, and elsewhere. She also reads for Pank Magazine. The eldest daughter of Lao refugees, she was born and raised in Québec and spent several years in Saskatchewan. Influenced by the folklore of her home province, the oral history of her diaspora, and the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze, her multidisciplinary work explores ways by which narratives are gathered, transmitted, and deciphered. She is currently completing her first novel, a modern fairy tale set in Southeast Asia, a short story collection about extinct species, and a series of fables using Lao weaving symbology. In June 2021, she joined an art research circle through the Nordic Summer University. Minor Crimes of Translation --- Support this podcast:
Nurdiyansah tells us about his trips across Indonesia to explore how spices from the region hold a multitude of stories that transcend the epochal eras: Dutch colonization, Japanese occupation, the national revolution era, New Order era, Reformasi, and the new digital age. The aroma and flavor of traditional dishes and culinary delights offered him personal and political reflections on the hybridity of identity and the convoluted meaning of "home." What does it really mean to be "Indonesian"? What are all the influences that shaped "Indonesian" cuisine? Is there really a pure "Indonesian" dish? How was pempek related to a nationwide massacre? Plus, a peek into "problems" in Alexandra's life, digital nomads, traditional textiles, and queer culture in Indonesia. Nurdiyansah Dalidjo is an interdisciplinary writer, researcher, and activist who seeks to memorialize the role of spices as the ingredients that fueled the revolution in Indonesia. He started his career as a journalist at Yayasan Jurnal Perempuan and has a master’s degree in tourism through Program Beasiswa Unggulan, a scholarship program from the Indonesian Ministry of Education and Culture. Since graduating, he has gained over 10 years of experience in Development issues with a focus on ethical and sustainable tourism, indigenous issues, and social justice. Nurdiyansah is the founder of the tourism portal and co-initiator of the Kain Kita project, a collective independent movement that shares cultural information and stories of traditional fabrics and indigenous textiles known as kain in Indonesia. Previously, he was the research and publications manager at Perkumpulan SKALA, a non-profit organisation with a journalist membership base and a focus on environmental sustainability. He led SKALA’s research teams in investigating reports on Indonesia’s forest fires and haze disasters in 2015; on local wisdom held by indigenous peoples and related to disaster risk reduction in Indonesia; and about wildlife trafficking in Indonesia. His writings have been published on The Jakarta Post, Overland, mata jendala,, Jurnal Perempuan, Tourism Watch Indonesia, Jurnal Wastra, Maximillian, Women’s Media Center (WMC) FBOMB , and many others. In 2015, Nurdiyansah released his first travel writing book, Porn(O) Tour (Metagraf, 2015) in which he campaigns for the ethical and responsible tourism issues in a popular way. He is currently based in Jakarta and spends his time exploring colonial histories through food and textile in Indonesia. IG: @penjelajah_rempah --- Support this podcast:
Brazilian-Indonesian artist Daniel Lie talks to us about the commonalities and distinctiveness between Brazil and Indonesia, two countries that share latitude lines, equatorial climate, lush rainforests enduring rampant deforestation, emerging market economies, class systems, and a long history of US-backed authoritarian regimes. We discuss the ideas explored in Daniel's trilingual project Toko Buku Liong, titled after their grandparent's successful comic book store in Semarang: coloniality of power, retracing migration routes, reconnecting with ancient roots, acquiring and embodying new languages, the myth of origin, and the perception of time.  They share their family story, their migration journey, and the sociopolitical forces behind their grandparents' migration from Semarang to Sao Paulo even though the comic book they created, called Wiro Anak Rimba, was a major canon in the Indonesian cultural movement during nationalization time. This might sound like a long podcast but it's all juicy! And we hope you have some good food to accompany you while you listen to this... Daniel Lie is a Brazilian-Indonesian trans artist born in São Paulo. Using "time" as a starting point for their art practice, Daniel's research looks into breaking the binary and questioning the tension between science and religion, ancestry and present, life and death. Through installations and hybrid languages, their work explores the concept of time, ephemerality and presence by using organic elements that change throughout their lifespan, such as decaying matter, growing plants, fungi, minerals, and the body. They have exhibited work in Brazil and abroad in England, Hungary, Indonesia, Austria, Germany and Chile, including at the esteemed Casa Triângulo and the Jupiter Artland. Their work have been featured in Frieze Magazine, The Guardian and Wallpaper. --- Support this podcast:
Ragil Huda talks to us about his unconventional journey: growing up in a small village in South Sumatra, working with the transgender community in Yogyakarta, attending Islamic boarding schools in both Java and Sumatra, finding the right support system in Penang, his current work as an academic-activist, methods of knowledge production, community building, grassroots organizing, and how he stays motivated amid everything he does. Plus, Raminten, CIA exploits, and the burden of social media influencers. You'll want some thick, teeming, hot sop kambing while you listen to this. Ragil Huda is the Co-Founder of QTIBIPOC Hamburg, Program Curator & Community Organizer for 'Queer' Asia in Berlin, and a member of Soydivision, for which he is co-curating the upcoming KAUM Festival. He is also currently finishing his graduate studies at the Asien-Afrika Institut, Universität Hamburg. His community building and grassroots organizing centers on queerness, intersectionality, and the social-political realities of marginalized people through various methodologies and creative activism. Website: --- Support this podcast:
*Note: At 24:00, what Sarnt meant here is a contemporary ethnic segregation amongst Southeast Asians in middle-class milieus, which happens less in the Berlin environment, in comparison to Bangkok. Historically, however, in West/East Germany there had been huge racial segregation imposed by both states, for example, between migrant "contract" workers who weren't allowed to live or interact with regular citizens through out the 1970/80s — another complex topic of another in-depth conversation. Sarnt Utamachote talks to us about postcoloniality, migrant movements and migrant spaces, internationalism, forms of survival for artists and queer and queer artists, the Diaspora ↔ War ↔ Tourism Complex, and how access to language affects access to archival research. Plus some K-pop, Sundance, Bangkok art scene, and the Berlin club scene.   Sarnt Utamachote is a queer filmmaker, photographer and curator. He is interested in deconstructing the “surfaces”, what rendered the “humans” behind invisible, by highlighting/curating the fragments; the humane subtleties often overlooked in everyday life - possible sources of social dignity and subject positions. He studied Industrial Design at Chulalongkorn University, and Cinema Studies and Literature Studies at the Freie Universität of Berlin. He co-founded collective un.thai.tled (of Thai-German diasporic critical creatives), through which he curates critical cultural exhibitions. His last project was the exhibition “Beyond the Kitchen: Stories of Thai Park”, where he curated and researched the archive of Thai migration in Berlin with Bezirksmuseum Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf. The collective also holds film screenings, including the annual un.thai.tled Film Festival Berlin. He researches and collects the archive of Thai migrations and movements in Berlin/Germany, in an attempt to redefine how migrant spaces and micro-histories are relevant to the postcolonial urban discourses. He was one of the selected participants of the Young Curators Workshop for 11th Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art 2020, organized by Pip Day. As a film producer/director/ editor, Sarnt utilizes cinema as a means for social engagement and an exercise of creative freedom beyond social conditional realities. His video installation “I Am Not Your Mother” was commissioned and exhibited at International Rotterdam Film Festival 2020 and nominated for “R.D. Pestonji Award” for best Thai short film at Thai Short Film and Video Festival Bangkok 2020. He is the 2020 recipient of Xposed Short Film Fund, granted by Xposed Queer Film Festival Berlin. His music video for Coco Elane's 'Deep Talk' was nominated for a Bucharest Film Award. --- Support this podcast:
Born in Denpasar, Cynthia Dewi Oka grew up as an ethnic minority and religious minority in Bali and Java. These experiences pushed her family to migrate to Vancouver, Canada, where Cynthia faced a whole other beast of diasporic experiences. Now a poet with three Pushcart Prize nominations, she lives in Philadelphia, where she partnered with Asian Arts Initiative to offer Sanctuary: A Migrant Poetry Workshop for Philly-based immigrant poets. Cynthia shares with us her journey across many borders, working as an organizer, a poet, a teacher, and a mother. We talk about martabak, motherhood, medok accents, imagination, imperialism, and immigration.  Cynthia Dewi Oka is a two-time Pushcart Prize nominee and author Salvage and Nomad of Salt and Hard Water. She is also a recipient of the Leeway Foundation’s Transformation Award; the Tupelo Quarterly Poetry Prize; the Fifth Wednesday Journal Editor’s Prize in Poetry; the Amy Clampitt Residency (2021-2022); and scholarships from Voices of Our Nations (VONA) and Vermont Studio Center. She has performed her poetry in various venues across the US and internationally, including at The New School, The Nuyorican, Poet’s House, the Langston Hughes House, Nick Virgilio Writer’s House, Noyes Art Garage, Woman Made Gallery, the Institute of Contemporary Art Philadelphia, the Philly Pigeon, the Leonard Pearlstein Gallery, Busboys and Poets, Writers Resist Philadelphia, The Laura Flanders Show, Split This Rock Poetry Festival, Hobart Festival of Women Writers, Festival Internacional de Poesia de la Habana, and the Ubud Writers and Readers Festival. She is a contributor to ESPN’s The Undefeated the anthologies Soul Sister Revue: A Poetry Compilation (Jamii Publishing, 2019) as well as other anthologies. Cynthia has been a poetry mentor for The Speakeasy Project, taught Foundations of Poetry for the Blue Stoop, and served as a guest poet in universities across the United States. In 2018, she visited Widener University as a featured poet in the English and Creative Writing Departments’ Distinguished Writers Series. As a Dodge Poet, she has visited and worked with young poets in high schools through mini-festivals across New Jersey. She has also facilitated poetry workshops for organizations and initiatives such as Community Building Art Works, FreeWrite Prison Writing Group, Women Writers in Bloom, Women’s Mobile Museum, and Training for Change. --- Support this podcast:
In the most dangerous part of the world for activists, Mitzi Jonelle Tan continues to mobilize and organize movements for climate justice. She chairs the Youth Advocates for Climate Action Philippines (YACAP) and works with indigenous leaders in most affected areas. Mitzi talks to us about Duterte's infamous anti-terror bill and war of drugs, the right to freedom of speech and the human rights crisis in the Philippines, the dependency of the country's economy on tourism and export of their natural resources, the interconnectedness of public policy, economics, education and climate change, as well as the feasibility of a sustainable lifestyle in the Philippines. Twitter: @mitzijonelle IG: @mitzijonelle --- Support this podcast:
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