Partner South East Asia Arts

Partner South East Asia was a series of online forums presented by the British Council which provided more than 800 participants across four days with a better understanding and knowledge of the arts and culture ecosystems of Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, and Viet Nam.  

Providing opportunities, contents, and contexts to make new connections between South East Asian and UK arts and culture stakeholders, Partner South East Asia featured the following through the external platform Hopin: 

  • Opening session including a keynote speech on the potential of South East Asia’s creative economy followed by an artist panel discussion (75 mins)
  • Five dedicated country briefing sessions (90 mins each)
  • Three thematic sessions covering the creative economy, arts and inclusion and climate change and cultural rights (60 mins each)
  • Dedicated networking functions for meeting counterparts for future collaborations (throughout the event)
  • Showreels of artistic collaborations between artists and creative professionals from the UK and South East Asia
  • Over 70 inspiring speakers from the UK and South East Asia 

Below are videos, resources, and highlights from the Partner South East Asia event that we hope can help you learn more about contemporary South East Asia-UK arts and cultural exchanges.

Executive Summary

Start exploring the event's resources with this Executive Summary Report.

Opening Session: Partner South East Asia: Arts and Culture Matters

The Opening Session provides participants with an understanding of the context and dynamism of the arts and culture ecosystem across the South East Asia region. The keynote speech by Duong Bích Hạnh, Chief Culture Unit, UNESCO Bangkok presents a recent publication, Backstage: Managing Creativity and the Arts in South-East Asia which draws on the findings of a recent study of the creative sector in the South East Asian region. Angela Chan moderates a panel discussion inviting artists, creative practitioners and academics from across the UK and South East Asia to share their own personal and professional experiences of UK-SEA collaborations.

Watch the Session

Opening Session Report

Thematic 1: Creative Economy - How Networks Shape Creative Ecosystems

This session demonstrates the significance of networks in building stronger and more inclusive creative economies – with a twist! Set as an imagined dinner party, the conversations are about stories of impact generated through networks, from the points of view of creative hubs, creative entrepreneurs, and cities.

Watch the Session

Creative Economy Report

Thematic 2: Climate Change - What Does it Mean for Arts and Cultural Rights?

The session unpacks the impact of climate change on our cultural rights, asking questions such as what is at stake and what role can arts and culture play in the fight against climate change? We will listen to artists and activists’ voices from diverse backgrounds and discuss how sustainability is reflected through their artistic practice. 

We share projects and case studies of artistic collaborations that will demonstrate the role and place of the arts in the fight against climate change. 

Watch the Session

Climate Change Report

Thematic 3: Arts for All?

The session focuses on the Arts and Inclusion agenda under the concept “Arts for All?”, which is to question and challenge the current status of Arts and Inclusion in South East Asia. It will start with a broad overview by a keynote speaker to be followed by presentations from South East Asian speakers who will reflect on their inclusion journey, looking at issues, success stories, and challenges. The speakers will later engage in a panel discussion led by Dr Alice Fox to explore what needs to be improved in order to make arts more inclusive for South East Asia. 

Watch the Session

Arts for All Report

Indonesia Session: Beyond the Art of 'Nongkrong'

The session highlights the landscape of the arts, culture and creative economy sector in Indonesia, by presenting the overview of the sector and insights produced from our research in Festivals and Cultural Cities. The session dives into with a conversation titled 'Indonesia - the art of Nongkrong' led by Adam Pushkin with artists from both Indonesia and UK who have been involved in developing UK-ID partnerships, about the magic of collaboration and how UK and Indonesia can learn from each other during this journey.

Moderator: Adam Pushkin, Independent Producer, UK


  • Sarah Archdeacon, Artistic Director, Corali Dance Company, UK
  • Tom Fleming, Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy, UK
  • Linda Hoemar Abidin, Treasurer, Executive Board, Koalisi Seni (Indonesian Arts Coalition)
  • Camelia Harahap, Head of Arts, British Council, Indonesia
  • Felencia Hutabarat, Researcher and Creative Producer, Indonesia
  • Tita Larasati, Council Member, International Advisory Council for Creative Industries Policy and Evidence Centre (PEC) & Deputy Strategic Partnership - Indonesia Creative Cities Network
  • Jack Lowe, Artistic Director, Curious Directive, UK
  • Hana Madness, Visual Artist and Mental Health Activist, Indonesia  
  • Hugh Moffatt, Country Director Indonesia and South East Asia cluster lead

Check out the Country Showreel

Watch the Country Session

Download the Country Report: Partner South East Asia - Indonesia | British Council

Malaysia Session: Arts and Culture Mosaic

The session gives us a retrospective and forward look at the opportunities and diversity of the arts, culture and creative economy sector in Malaysia and highlights future collaboration pathways between Malaysian and UK arts sectors and practitioners. Starting with a discussion between UK and Malaysian artists who collaborated on a multimedia, cross-discipline project, 'SuperEverything'. The second half unpacks two reports on the Malaysian Arts sector and Cultural Cities, with the aim of further identifying areas of connections and collaborations between the two countries.

Moderator: Jo Kukathas, Writer, Director, Actress and Co-founder of the Instant Café Theatre, Malaysia


  • Dr Ann Lee, Playwright, Writer, and Researcher, Malaysia
  • Christopher Thomas Allen, Light Surgeons, UK
  • Izan Satrina, Chairwoman of CENDANA, Malaysia
  • Jazreel Goh, Country Director, British Council Malaysia
  • Lee Jia Ping, Researcher, Malaysia
  • Ng Chor Guan, Artist and Co-founder of Toccata Studio, Malaysia
  • Pauline Fan, Co-Director of George Town Literary Festival and Creative Director of Pusaka, Malaysia  
  • Tom Fleming, Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy, UK

Check out the Country Showreel

Watch the Country Session

Download the Country Report: Partner South East Asia - Malaysia | British Council

Viet Nam Session: The Viet Nam Connections

The Việt Nam Connections shines a spotlight on three UK – Việt Nam collaborations spanning music, festival, theatre, arts and disability, and sustainable thinking, design and making. We invite you to join us and discover how these connections were built, nurtured (throughout the Covid-19 pandemic), and are flourishing and bringing arts to life in Hà Nội, Brighton, London and Cardiff. We also walk you through the cultural landscape of Việt Nam from north to south, sharing about the magical attractions of Vietnamese cities and the young dynamic audience who are incredibly receptive to new arts and cultural products.


  • Lola Lely, Designer, Artist, and Founder of Lola Lely Studio and Wax Atelier
  • Mai Thang, Programmer, Music and Conference, Monsoon Music Festival
  • Donna McGowan, Country Director, British Council Việt Nam
  • Nguyễn Phương Thảo, Head of Arts, British Council Việt Nam
  • Nguyễn Quốc Trung, Music Composer, Producer and Director of Monsoon Music Festival
  • Nguyễn Thị Mộng Thu, Social Affairs Manager, Tòhe - Nguyễn Vũ Tú Hằng, Manager, Hanoi Grapevine
  • Phạm Trang Mỹ Linh, Artistic Director and Founder of Mắt Trần Ensembles
  • Adam Ryan, Head of Music, The Great Escape Festival
  • Thảo Vũ, Founder and Creative Director, Kilomet 109
  • Trương Uyên Ly, Director, Hanoi Grapevine  
  • Ellis Wrightbrook, Senior Producer, Hijinx Theatre

Check out the Country Showreel

Watch the Country Session

Download the Country Report: Partner South East Asia - Vietnam | British Council

Thailand Session: Arts for Change

The session provides an overview of the arts, culture and creative economy sector in Thailand by looking at current cultural and creative economy policies, exploring the creative cities and creative districts landscapes in Thailand, where creative hubs have been an integral part to build social impact, and discussing the current art scenes where artists are doing exciting work to make arts more relevant to the present society, looking at different social agendas, promoting more inclusive approaches towards the arts, and connecting arts more with the public and communities.


  • Adulaya Hoontrakul, Independent Curator, Thailand
  • Prof Joyce Yee, Lecturer, University of Northumbria, UK


  • Wayla Amatathammachad, Founder, Loei Art Fes, Thailand
  • Sirasar Boonma, Co-Founder, Hear & Found, Thailand
  • Nathanich Chaidee, Co-Founder, Ari Around, Thailand
  • Prasop Riangngoen, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Culture, Thailand
  • Dr Jaray Suwannachart, Co-Founder, Songkhla Heritage Trust, Thailand
  • Kawita Vatanajyangkur, Artist, Thailand
  • Martin Venzky-Stalling, Committee Member, Creative Chiang Mai, Thailand
  • Pichit Virankabutra, Deputy Director, Creative Economy Agency, Thailand

Check out the Country Showreel

Watch the Country Session

Download the Country Report: Partner South East Asia - Thailand | British Council

Philippines Session: Entry Points Between the Philippines and UK

The session gives an overview of connections and challenges between the UK and Philippines from a cultural and socio-economic perspective. It explores existing links created through the arts, trade and migration, and reflect on how these can become gateways for artistic collaboration, innovation, and stronger cultural relations.

Moderator: Dr Rafael Schacter, Curator; Lecturer, Anthropology and Material Culture, University College London


  • Pio Abad, Visual artist, UK/Philippines
  • Pauline Juan, Executive Director, Center for International Trade Expositions and Missions (CITEM), Philippines
  • Deirdre McKay, Professor of Sustainable Development, Keele University, Chair, ASEAS-UK
  • Hon. Loren Legarda, Deputy Speaker, District Representative Antique, Philippines
  • Chris Millado, Artistic Director, Cultural Center of the Philippines
  • Lotus Postrado, Country Director, British Council, Philippines
  • Malaya del Rosario, Head of Arts and Creative Industries, British Council, Philippines

Check out the Country Showreel

Watch the Country Session

Download the Country Report: Partner South East Asia – Insights on connecting the Philippine-UK creative economy | British Council