CREAM Co-director wins prestigious British Academy Fellowship

15 May 2018

May Adadol Ingawanji

Dr May Adadol Ingawanij, Co-director of the Centre for Research and Education in Arts and Media (CREAM) has been awarded the British Academy Mid-Career Fellowship for her research project Contemporary Art and Animistic Cinematic Practices in Southeast Asia.

Dr Ingawanij’s project juxtaposes two moments of aesthetic practice in the region: itinerant film performances addressed to the spirits in Thailand during the Cold War; and moving image practices since the 1990s by contemporary artists such as Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Lav Diaz, and Araya Rasdjarmrearnsook.

With this curatorial constellation the project will explore heterogeneous uses of the cinematic apparatus to create images of life and worlds, particularly those intertwining the human with the non-human and the sacral.

The research will significantly contribute vocabularies, routed through Southeast Asia’s very old media genealogy of animism, with which to gain a deeper understanding of the historical, environmental and cosmological imaginaries of the region's contemporary time-based art.

The British Academy’s Mid-Career Fellowships are designed to support outstanding academics with excellent research proposals whose research will contribute towards public understanding of the humanities and social sciences. Only 33 fellowships have been awarded in this round of competition.

Speaking about the fellowship Dr Ingawanij said: “I am thrilled to be awarded the British Academy’s Mid-Career fellowship at this timely moment, when Southeast Asian contemporary art and artists’ cinema are gaining unprecedented global visibility. My project builds on CREAM’s research excellence in the arts in Asia, and enhances the University of Westminster’s international research and teaching network in Southeast Asia and beyond.”

Dr Ingawanij will be working on this project with Dr Julian Ross, CREAM’s Leverhulme Early Career Fellow. The research will result in a book and a curatorial project taking place the UK and Thailand.

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