Southeast Asia (SEA) Advisory Committee Recommendations
Drafted on 21, April 2016 at 2330 hours
The members of the Southeast Asia (SEA) Advisory Committee recommend that the Ministry of Culture should draw from the democratic vitality, diversity and inclusiveness within Taiwan's society to determine its strategy vis-a-vis Southeast Asia. By pursuing its own approach to promote intellectual and cultural interaction, we believe Taiwan can achieve substantial and long lasting impact.
We envision the role of the Ministry of Culture as an enabler to facilitate and support exchanges and engagements with SEA. By empowering national and regional cultural actors, the Ministry will create a conducive process that will generate substantial meaningful community-to-community dialogue that aims to address the issues of their everyday lives.
This approach reflects the diversity of its society, which includes a large presence of people originating from SEA. Taiwan's cultural approach towards SEA will achieve visibility and distinction.
The SEA Advisory Committee proposes the following recommendations:
Immediate actions to be taken (within 18 months):
- As per current limitations of the existing subsidy system, we propose a review of the mechanisms, with the intention of creating inclusive and sustainable multi-year projects.
- Create an Information portal on SEA that increases knowledge and aid research by Taiwanese cultural actors.
- Increase the support given to Taiwan cultural actors already engaged with SEA through their projects and programmes. This support will allow them to deepen their work, and to create greater reach and impact in their respective communities including audiences.
- To leverage on existing international / regional programmes with experience, resources and networks, for instance, the Arts Network Asia, the Asian Cultural Council etc.
- To make possible the participation of Taiwanese cultural actors in major SEA-based events (symposiums, festivals, arts markets etc) that present networking possibilities with a large number of SEA participants. For instance, International Convention of Asia Scholars (ICAS) to meet in Chiang Mai (July 2017), the Asia-Pacific Network of Culture Education and Research (ANCER) Conference tentatively in Singapore (2016), Green Arts Lab Alliance Asia (GALA-Asia) to meet in Bangkok (November 2016).
- To achieve the above goals, some grants may require a multi-year framework. This is especially important for network development and capacity building that should lead to the cultivation of new audiences.
- Recipients of such grants should be inclusive of diverse social and professional backgrounds. The allocation of grants should only be based on the merit of the submitted project.
- Projects that engage in creative dialogue between the arts and culture and other humanistic pursuits should be encouraged.
- Mobility grants are for the purpose of research and face-to-face encounters between Taiwanese and SEA cultural actors. These funds should also be inclusive of non-Taiwanese nationals in Taiwan (e.g. migrant workers). In the same way, mobility support should allow for intra-Southeast Asian exchanges.
Mid-term actions (Year 2 to 4):
- Establish a funding and facilitating agency composed of public-private-people partnership. The agency will engage in peer review selection and evaluation. The review committee should be made up of a diverse range of social and cultural stakeholders with international representation. The work and objectives of the agency should be determined and evaluated on the middle term basis (five years and above).
- Devise a set of grants for individuals and organisations that nurture long-standing connectivity, networking, capacity-building and mobility.
- The funded projects ideally need to becross-cultural, cross-sector, inter-disciplinary and process-oriented (not product-oriented).
- The said agency should set a series of broad themes such as Displacement, Memories, Diaspora, Everyday Life, Environment and Creative Ecology, Home, Place-making, Translations, etc, for its grants. The choice of themes should remain consistent for an extended period of time (four to five years).
- To create a network ofenabling partners in various SEA centres/hubs. These like-minded partners provide information on the ground and also nurture exchanges and collaborations amongst its own community with Taiwan cultural actors. These partners are to be funded by the agency.
Long Term Objectives and Results (Year 5 to 10and beyond):
We foresee that in the long-term,the cultural ties between Taiwan and SEA would have matured and strengthened. Taiwan and SEA will be part of a flourishing community based on mutual respect that recognizes both the cultural diversity and pluralisms in Asia, and the shared cultural and social interests. In doing so, this multi-channel initiative would create new areas of mutual understanding between Taiwan and SEA and within SEA with a concrete impact upon the younger generations. The Ministry of Culture, Taiwan will thereby be collaborating with partners that will resonate across societies at large.