Meet the team working behind the scenes to bring you the latest information and perspectives on arts and culture in Asia and Europe:
Deputy Director, Department of Cultural Exchange
Anupama Sekhar, an Indian national, joined ASEF in January 2009. As Deputy Director, she is in charge of the department’s day-to-day operations. She also manages the department’s activities in the field of cultural policy. Anupama is a member of the U40 group of young cultural policy experts, launched by the German Commission for UNESCO and supported by the International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity. She is also a trained dancer in the Indian classical style of Bharatnatyam. Prior to joining ASEF, Anupama worked with the United Nations and in the arts sector in India.She holds a Master of Art degree in International Studies and a Bachelor of Art degree in English Literature from Stella Maris College, Chennai, India.
Project Manager, Department of Cultural Exchange
Valentina Riccardi is Project Manager for Cultural Exchange, where she oversees ASEF’s initiatives related to the development of platforms and networks. She joined the ASEF in January 2009 to focus specifically on ASEF’s arts and culture portal culture360.org. Since then, she has successfully coordinated the re-launch of culture360.org in April 2010. In 2011, she has focused on the conceptualization and launch of film.culture360.org dedicated to independent cinema as well as the new website of the Asia-Europe Museum Network (ASEMUS).
Project Executive, Department of Cultural Exchange
Born in Yokohama, Japan, Sali Sasaki joined ASEF in 2012. She is a communication designer, researcher, and writer specialized in cities and cultural development. She is the former manager of UNESCO’s Creative Cities, an international network of 28 cities, from over 15 different countries. Since 2008, she is freelancing with international organizations in Europe and Asia. She has developed several cultural projects including the Design DNA Workshop for the International Design Center in Nagoya, and Cities x Design, a transmedia publication on the role of design in urban environments. She is also an Ambassador for the INDIGO Indigenous Design Network by ICOGRADA, a consultant for the World Design Capital, and a visiting tutor at Parsons Paris School of Design. Sali holds a Master of Arts degree in Communication Design from the Royal College of Art (UK). She currently divides her time between Paris and Tokyo.
Social Media and Web Analytics expert
Piero studied hypermedia in Finland, media and communication in Italy and public affairs in Australia… while backpacking in most of the other countries. He now works as communication adviser for companies, NGOs and the public sector, focusing on web and social media. His lectures on web writing and search engine optimization were among the top 4% of most viewed presentations on SlideShare in 2013. Former skydiver, he has learnt that strategy and the attention to details are key to success.
Timothee is the technical coordinator for culture360.org. After graduating in computer science, he worked a few years in the IT industry before going back to university and graduating in new media and journalism. From that point on, he made sure both IT and culture were strong components of his work, with a specific focus on community-driven websites. He worked for the French Embassy in the Netherlands, and then joined the European Cultural Foundation to lead their online activities – chiefly the LabforCulture project. A few years later, he decided to spend a year roaming through South and Central America and he is now living in the Pacific islands of Vanuatu. He believes in an open and free Internet – of course supported by Open Source technologies.
Judith Staines is Editor of Culture360.org. She is a freelance writer, researcher, editor, project manager and book artist based in the UK. Current special subjects include Asia-Europe arts and culture, international mobility, European cultural cooperation, creative industries and policy. She has worked with many arts projects and cultural networks in Europe and Asia, undertakes EU evaluation and research as a European Expert Network on Culture member. Popular publications include The International Co-Production Manual (2011, IETM & KAMS), EU-China Cultural Compass (Editor, 2011, EUNIC China partners), Moving Art – how legally to move cultural goods between Russia and the EU (2007) and visual artist handbooks on marketing and selling. She studied French and Romanian a long time ago and has learned lots more since.
Editor for film.culture360.org
Colm McAuliffe has many years experience working in the film world as a programmer and critic. Based in London, he writes regularly on film for Sight & Sound, The Quietus, Film4 and has contributed to numerous other magazines, blogs and radio outlets throughout the world. Since 2012, he has been the Head of Short Film Programming at the Cork Film Festival while he has also worked on the programmes for the Dublin International Film Festival, Encounters Festival Bristol and organised and hosted a wealth of masterclasses and Q&A’s with directors, actors and producers.