A discussion of artistic expressions of global culture in Asian cities has brought together a diverse group of international researchers at RMIT Europe.
The Performative Publics and Global Modernities in Asia symposium was co-presented by RMIT and the University of Leiden, Netherlands.
Held at RMIT Europe in Barcelona, it was attended by researchers from Europe, Singapore, Britain, America and Australia.
The symposium was convened by Associate Professor Chris Hudson, co-director, of the Communication, Politics and Culture Research Centre and her European counterpart, Associate Professor Bart Barendregt from KITLV-KNAW, University of Leiden.
Associate Professor Hudson said the two-day symposium was devoted to understanding how global flows of culture were embedded in local settings and how the imagination of life with a global span was made possible at the level of everyday social practices.
“The discussions took in a broad range of ideas about the ways in which individual or collective identity and agency are constructed, recognized and reproduced in expanded fields of possibility,” she said.
Academics and researchers presented papers focused on diverse examples of global culture in a local space, such as convenience stores in Japan, an effigy of Barack Obama in a bejak in Indonesia, Indian lifestyle television, and flashmobs in Malaysia.
Participants examined the ways in which urban spaces and media can become the locations of new publics, stages on which subjects can create and transform identities in Asia and help to renegotiate the connection between the local and the global.
The intense dialogue and exchange of ideas resulted in a new, long-term collaborative research project into performance and cultural change in Asia that will focus on Japan, Indonesia, Singapore, China, Malaysia, India and the Philippines.
An edited volume of papers from the symposium, to be published this year, will mark the first stage of the project.