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Resilience of Culture and Cultural Policy — Community, Art, and Cultural Management in Asia


In the late capitalism, consumer-centric world today, donation-based non-profit organisations are facing the challenge of striving for their artistic visions while maintaining their economic base and sustainable growth. The panel will examine responses to such a challenge with two focal points: community and Asia. It will first introduce two examples from Asia, Phare the Cambodian Circus/Phare Ponleu Selpak from Cambodia, and Beppu Project from Japan. Professor Milena Dragicevic Sesic, a cultural policy expert from Serbia, will discuss their implications for cultural policy in the global context. Professor Sumiko Kumakura, the moderator of the panel, will examine them as a potential model for cultural policy making in Asia. The panel will also discuss responses of cultural management to the ongoing pandemic and discuss the extent to which cultures of many nations have shown resilience in such a critical time and the roles played by cultural policies.



Milena Dragićević Šešić

Dr. Milena Dragićević Šešić, prof. emerita,

Professor Šešić is former President of University of Arts, Belgrade and Founder of UNESCO Chair in Interculturalism, Art Management and Mediation. At university, she has taught Cultural Policy & Management, Cultural and Media Studies. Professor Šešić is a Board member of the European Diploma in Cultural Project Management (Brussels), EQ-Arts (Amsterdam) and served IUC, ENCATC and ELIA as Board Member. Many awards she has been given include Commandeur dans l`Ordre des Palmes Academiques 2002; first ENCATC fellowship Laureate 2019; University of Arts Laureate 2004, 2019. She has published 20 books and more than 250 essays, translated in 17 languages. She serves a number of international organisations including UNESCO, European Cultural Foundation, EU, and the Council of Europe.

Det Khuon
“Helping others helped me overcome my trauma.”

Det Khuon, one of the founders of Phare Ponleu Selpak (with Dara Huot (Mr), CEO of Phare the Cambodian Circus)

KHUON Det is an award winning, social activist, a renowned Cambodian stage director, a returning refugee and a reviver of Cambodian arts after the Khmer Rouge genocide. Det had a fled and became a refugee at a very young age. As an orphan in the refugee camp Det learned arts as a form of therapy with Veronique Decrop, a French humanitarian worker when he grew up in refugee camp Site 2 along Cambodia-Thailand border.

He co-founded “Phare Ponleu Selpak” or “Brightness of the Arts NGO School” ( more than 20 years ago with 9 of his camp and his arts teacher, Veronique DECROP.

Det is currently Director of Performing Arts School at Phare Ponleu Selpak or Brightness of Arts Association in Battambang, Cambodia. All his works have toured around the world including Europe, United States, Japan, Korea and Southeast Asia.

Dara Huot

Dara Huot, Chief Executive, Phare Performing Social Enterprise Co., Ltd. Dara is passionate about life with dignity.

Currently he works, plays and dreams big together with 47 artists and 70 team members in Phare Performing Social Enterprise (PPSE) in his mission of supporting Phare Ponleu Selpak school, providing professional opportunities for Cambodian youth and revitalizing arts in Cambodia.

He was a music student at Phare Ponleu Selpak Association in 2001 in his High School Year in Battambang. He was later an interpreter at Phare and joined the first group of performing artists on awareness theater/circus performance tours to educate rural Cambodian populations on landmines, malaria, dengue fever and other public health and safety issues.

Jun'ya Yamaide

Jun'ya Yamaide - Artist and Executive Director of "BEPPU PROJECT"

After exploring his career in New York, Taiwan and Paris as an artist, Yamaide returned his hometown Beppu in Oita, Japan, to set up an organization BEPPU PROJECT in 2005. BEPPU PROJECT has been showcasing various contemporary artists in a regional city famous for hot spa and resorts in Kyushu. As a prime example of artistic contribution to community building and redevelopment of the area that suffers from aging and decreasing population, BEPPE PROJECT has received great attention among cultural policy researchers in Japan and beyond. Yamaide has been awarded by the Agency for Cultural Affairs of the Japanese Government for his achievements and regularly contributes to cultural policy making at various commissions and councils.

Sumiko Kumakura

Prof. Sumiko Kumakura (Tokyo University of the Arts) (Moderator)

Professor Kumakura is the Dean of the Graduate School of Global Arts; Professor in Art Management and Cultural Policy Studies. She has been awarded BA in Université de Paris X, MA in Keio University (Art History and Aesthetics). She has produced a number of regional art projects such as the Toride Art Project, Kitamoto Vitamin, and Art Access Adachi: Downtown Senju––Connecting through Sound Art. She is also an adviser on cultural policy for the Agency for Cultural Affairs.