25 Jul 2012
Finding a Place on the Asian Stage | publication from Australia
‘Should we care more than we do about our neighbours in the Asian region?’
is the question asked by Alison Carroll and Carrillo Gantner in this essay, published by Currency House. Both authors have spent a lifetime in such engagement.
This has been called the Asian century and Australia is being offered unique opportunities. But too few of us in the arts have experience, let alone in-depth knowledge, cultural fluency or competency in any Asian language. More should be made of those Australian artists who live and work in China, Japan, India and Indonesia, as well as the companies that tour with Asialink.
In the past, connections made through Foreign Affairs and the Australia Council have been subject to the changing policies of successive governments, and subservient to trade promotions and the overriding need for financial return. The authors outline the way public funding has reflected trade policy over cultural policy, proposes a plan for a new direction and points to the benefits we are already earning by getting to know our neighbours better.
With a 20 year history of collaboration with Asia, David Pledger, Artistic Director of Not Yet It's Difficult, was invited to respond to the paper.
"The Carroll-Gantner Paper offers new values...It signals an important shift in the way Australia perceives itself as a cultural entity and the way in which the rest of the world receives Australia as a cultural agent." David Pledger, NYID
ALISON CARROLL was founding director of Asialink Arts 1991–2010. She has initiated residency programs for Australian artists in Asia, managed countless exhibitions and events in Asian countries, and negotiated performing arts and dance exchange programs with Japan and Indonesia.
CARRILLO GANTNER, AO has brought many Asian performing arts companies to Australia. He has served as cultural counselor at the Australian Embassy in Beijing and on a diversity of public bodies on Australia-Asia relations; and has held many other positions in Australian and international public life.
The paper can be ordered from Currency House
29 Jul 2010