Upcoming events

An Evening with the Jogja Hip Hop Foundation

When: 6 September 2016, 17.30 - 19.30
Where: Refectory, Holme Building, University of Sydney

Co-hosted by the Department of Indonesian Studies, the Consulate General of Indonesia (Sydney) and the Australia Indonesia Youth Association

The Sydney Southeast Asia Centre in collaboration with the Department of Indonesian Studies, the Consulate General of Indonesia (Sydney) and the Australia Indonesia Youth Association proudly present the Jogja Hip Hop Foundation with a show-stopping performance of contemporary music and traditional dance!

Recognised as one of Southeast Asia's foremost collectives, the Jogja Hip Hop Foundation promotes diversity and pluralism. The group mixes literary Javanese texts with colloquial riffs. Their musical hooks are pinned to global rhythms, traditional gamelan music, and a love of language. Accompanying the group is Ki Catur 'Benyek Kuncoro', a puppet master from Yogyakarta, and the dance company Pusat Latihan Tari Bagong Kussudiardja.

The artists will use wayang (shadow puppets) to tell a story about the values of life where tradition continues amid modernisation. Combining urban hip-hop with gamelan and Javanese language and dance, the master puppeteer uses contemporary music to tell traditional stories.

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Free event with online registration required.


Forest Countercultures of Uploand Laos: Lessons for Sustainability?

When: 15 September 2016, 18.00 - 19.30
Where: Macleay Museum, University of Sydney

What is a low impact life? Can we live sustainably? How can we keep our minds on nature? One way to answer to these questions is to ask the people who know best. Many of the world’s indigenous groups live far from development, deep inside the tropical forests that circle the equator.

The panel takes off from the case of an upland indigenous group of Laos, living deep inside the protected forest watershed of one of the world’s biggest hydroelectric dam projects. Just as Sydneysiders can reel off the names of hundreds of supermarket products, upland Lao can reel off the names of hundreds of tree and plant species. Like so many minority groups, in today’s world the Kri are a counterculture, whether by choice or not. In a consumer-dominated world urgently needing help, what can we learn from them?

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Free event with online registration required.


Clusters of Development and Democratisation: Militarist, Socialist, and Colonial Legacies across Southeast Asia

When: 28 September 2016, 17.00-18.30
Where: Seminar Room 442, New Law School Annexe, University of Sydney

The presentation offers a new theorisation and categorisation of Southeast Asian polities that have pursued rapid development through integration with a regional economy jointly dominated by American, British, Chinese, and Japanese power and capital. Unlike the 'developmental statist' cases of Northeast Asia (Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan), Southeast Asia’s developmental economies can usefully be divided into “developmental militarist” (Indonesia, Myanmar, and Thailand), “developmental socialist” (Cambodia and Vietnam), and 'developmental Britannia' (Malaysia and Singapore) clusters. This developmental clustering has had profound effects on prospects for Southeast Asian authoritarian regimes to pursue the kind of 'democracy through strength' witnessed in Northeast Asia’s leading developmental states. Of particular note is the pattern that only Southeast Asia’s militarist cases, and not its socialist or Britannia cases, have conceded democratic reforms in the expectation that conservative political elites could continue to thrive under competitive electoral politics.

Dan Slater is an associate professor in the Department of Political Science and associate member of the Department of Sociology at the University of Chicago.

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Free event with online registration required.


ASEAN Forum 2016

China in ASEAN

When: 7 October 2016, 12.00 - 17.00
Where: Law Foyer, New Law Building, University of Sydney

Co-hosted with the China Studies Centre

China is an emerging political superpower with a large population, rapid economic growth and increasing military spending. At the same time, the Association of Southeast Asia Nations (ASEAN) is moving towards greater economic integration through the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), hoping that integration will boost markets and attract increased investment to the region. While ASEAN’s integration is an ongoing process, the economic relationship between China and the AEC has been formalised through the ASEAN-China Free Trade Area agreement. At the same time, tensions have arisen between China and a number of Southeast Asia states due to competing claims for islands in the South China Sea.

The 2016 ASEAN Forum co-hosted by the Sydney Southeast Asia Centre and China Studies Centre will explore the various convergences of these two political entities, shedding light on how China is shaping political, economic and cultural aspects of life for those in ASEAN. The forum will invite speakers from across the region to provide assessments of how China is engaging in Southeast Asia, and what this means for the future of the region as a whole. The forum will focus on three main themes that lie at the heart of the ASEAN-China relationship:

  • Security
  • Economic diplomacy
  • Chinese diasporas in Southeast Asia

Further information on the panels, speakers and program is now available.

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Free event with online registration required.