Other Asias: Transnational Contemporary Art Currents
'Should we train our imagination to allow 'Asia' to emerge as a continent?'
(Gayatri Spivak, 2008)
Other Asias is a transnational artists & writers platform that challenges contemporary navigations of "Asia" and the-world-at large via a collaborative curatorial practice. Our organisation activates chains of exhibitions, film screenings, fictions, forums, interventions, performance, plays, walks and talks, historical revisions, reading circles, archives, taxonomies, political vocabularies, zines, public education and transnational circulation towards a post-West cultural horizon.
Other Asias operates as open assemblage of artists, writers and designers - in a fluid space between an art movement, production company and creative think-tank .We seek to cultivate alliances and counter-cartographies, opening up regions, potentialities, new configurations of memory, imagination and investigation. We grew discontented with the ossification of official "cross-cultural" departments, institutionalised post-colonial studies and new internationalism, embodied in the systematic mediocrity of the first Asian Arts Triennial (Manchester 2008). We sought an opposing space to the corporate/ NGO strategies of organisations like Asia House and the current superficial commercial booms of Eastern economies, bureaucratic state-sanctioned "celebrating diversity" initiatives. We were dismayed by the entrenched Eurocentrism of professional "critique" and artschool academia (in Europe and Asia).
Before its formal organisation Other Asias started as a conversation between friends on a bus that evolved in the Central Saint Martins library on Charing Cross road after a screening of Bangladeshi short films in East London. Its context was the plethora of regional survey shows from the dominant Asian economies, the crescendos around "crisis of Multiculturalism" in parliamentary rhethoric, the rise of Asian global power and decline of unipoplar West. Over time we collectively discussed bad "Human rights" arts, the shortcomings of BME public inclusion strategies and the NGOisation of third world subjects. We stole our name from a Gayatri Spivak book.
Other Asias works as a grass roots networking organisation that aims to provide up-coming creatives a platform and portal for multi-poplar orbits of distribution and exchange. Every current is pregnant investigation, configuring a dynamic new team of visiting artists, curators, designers and thinkers from non-artworld disclipines - activating transformations across localities, communities and continents.
Other Asias is based in London (UK), Lahore (Pakistan) and Dhaka (Bangladesh) with a satellite network of links across the Asian continent. We are an independent, not-for-profit arts organisation, mostly run by an open collective of volunteers.
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Upcoming UK Events
Sunday 7th April 2013
12pm - 7pm
DIY Cultures : Zine, Artists Books, Comics, Small press, Underground, Alternative spaces
Rich Mix, Bethnal Green Road, London, UK
Tube : Liverpool Street or Shoreditch High Street
A day curated by Hamja Ahsan & Sowfia Niazi (Walrus Zines / OOMK )
& Helena Wee
for more information
Full Programme of Talks & Events here
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