Karakoa is a collective established in May 2018 by independent producers, curators, and arts managers from Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand. This collective aims to create intersections of networks to facilitate transnational cultural exchanges by focusing in Asia and Southeast Asia; provide a space for sharing contemporary artistic practices and processes with society; and uncover new artistic values in the evolving contemporary arts landscape. The initial concept of a transnational mobile festival “Creators’ Cradle Circuit” (3Cs) was proposed at TPAM 2018 (Performing Arts Meeting in Yokohama) by the 2017- 2018 fellows of the Japan Foundation Asia Center Next Generation: Producing Performing Arts Program. In response to the Covid-19 Pandemic, the 3Cs research completely shifted online - conducting research through virtual meetings in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) in June, Tokyo in July, and Bangkok (Thailand) in September 2020. The 3Cs journey continued with five individuals and one pair of emerging performance artists from Southeast Asia and Japan to engage in effective communication with local communities through artistic practices. Karakoa designed an online platform and program as an artistic response to the challenges of social distancing as well as bridged pathways to investigate and continue exchanges to find out what is going on in the contemporary performing arts scene in the three cities above.
Achievements of FY 2018 https://grant-fellowship-db.jfac.jp/en/grant/cc1821/
Achievements of FY 2020 https://grant-fellowship-db.jfac.jp/en/grant/cc1945/
From the Organizer
At the beginning, we encountered technical issues in implementing an online program. Internet issues, audio interruption, and interpretation problems were among the challenges we experienced during the program. However, as the research progressed, the problems were gradually addressed by updating software and applications and learning as we went along. Although mobility restrictions and the need for social distance made real-life encounters and fieldwork difficult, we found that online activities were effective for intellectual exchanges, meetings, and symposiums. Online activities have also made it possible for us to engage in more flexible and continuous long-term activities compared to intensive activities during short-term stays. In 2021, the Team at Karakoa will conceptualize and implement the 3Cs festival, which will incorporate the results of our research, along with the issues and contexts that emerged in Kuala Lumpur, Tokyo, and Bangkok. Specifically, we are planning to hold an incubation program in Kuala Lumpur, which will emphasize the artists’ processes and collaboration with the local community. We will also have a collaboration with local partners in Tokyo and Loie, and an Asian Art Media Round Table in partnership with Arts Equator.