20 episodes

Featuring casual conversations that unpack complex topics, Ruth Feriningrum and Alexandra Kumala talk to fellow Southeast Asians about Southeast Asia. Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/sugar-nutmeg/support

Sugar Nutmeg Ruth Feriningrum and Alexandra Kumala

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 6 Ratings

Featuring casual conversations that unpack complex topics, Ruth Feriningrum and Alexandra Kumala talk to fellow Southeast Asians about Southeast Asia. Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/sugar-nutmeg/support

    Thi My Lien Nguyen on Food for the Dead & Transforming Family Rituals into Communal Feasts

    Thi My Lien Nguyen on Food for the Dead & Transforming Family Rituals into Communal Feasts

    Thi My Lien Nguyen talks to us about Viet-Lao identity, the Vietnamese diaspora in Switzerland versus France, Germany, and the U.S., the types of dishes she cooks to honor the dead, working with folklore and foodways, and starting Mili's Supper Club. Plus, Swiss cheese, chocolate cake, the different funeral processions in Indonesia, and more!





    Thi My Lien Nguyen is a Swiss-Vietnamese lens-based artist, supper club host, and food artist working and located in Winterthur, Switzerland. Her image-making practice, often using ethnographic methods, are focused on issues of identity, migration, diasporas and the communities. She questions mechanisms dynamics and processes within families and trans-cultural communities.  Her interest lies between the fine line of documentary and photographic art. She focused her work on issues of identity, migration, diasporas, and the communities.  Her projects include 'Mời, mời,' in which she interprets the diverse experiences of secondas and secondos, and 'Hiếu thảo – With love and respect,' in which she connects the past & present of navigating and negotiating Vietnamese heritage and Swiss culture with the maternal lineage of her family.





    www.myliennguyen.ch

    IG: @myliennguyen

    Twitter: @myliennguyen

    www.milissupperclub.ch

    IG: @milissupperclub


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    • 1 hr 17 min
    Sim Chi Yin on Artistic Interventions to Reshape Public Memory

    Sim Chi Yin on Artistic Interventions to Reshape Public Memory

    Sim Chi Yin walks us through her ongoing project "One Day We'll Remember": uncovering family secrets, visiting ancestral villages, collecting artefacts and archival materials, and making counter archives with family members and locals from her grandfather's neighborhood in Gaoshang after he was deported from British Malaya for his anti-colonial resistance against the British occupying forces.

    She raises major topics such as what are the things we choose to remember and things we choose to forget in relation to trauma and malu, and the different ways wars have been documented in Southeast Asia. She also talks to us about her artistic drive and artistic direction.

    *In our first in-person episode, Alexandra had a chance to visit and interview Chiyin at her studio in Brooklyn, New York.





    Sim Chi Yin is an artist from Singapore, currently based between Brooklyn and Berlin. For the first decade of her multi-faceted career, she was a print journalist, foreign correspondent, and photographer. She was commissioned as the Nobel Peace Prize photographer in 2017 to make work about its winner, the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons. 

    After quitting her job as foreign correspondent, she became an independent visual practitioner. She combines rigorous research with intimate storytelling, she pursues self-directed projects in Asia. Her work explores history, memory, and migration and its consequences. In particular, she dove into a lesser-known part of her own family history in "One Day We'll Understand," a project that revolves around her grandfather, Shen Huansheng, who was a left-wing journalist involved in the anti-colonial resistance movement in British Malaya. Through her careful documentation, in both film and photography, Sim considers the processes of remembrance and forgetting as well as the fragility of the notion of truth.

    Her work has been exhibited in the Istanbul Biennale (2017), at the Institute of Contemporary Arts Singapore, the Annenberg Space For Photography in Los Angeles, Gyeonggi Museum of Modern Art in South Korea, and other galleries and institutions in Europe, the United States and Asia. Her film and multimedia work have also been screened at Les rencontres d’Arles and Visa pour l'Image festivals in France, and the Singapore International Film Festival. She has worked on assignments for global publications, such as The New York Times Magazine, Time Magazine, National Geographic, The New Yorker and Harper's Bazaar.

    Chi Yin won the Chris Hondros Fund award in 2018. A finalist for the 2013 W. Eugene Smith Grant in Humanistic Photography, she was an inaugural Magnum Foundation Photography and Social Justice fellow in 2010 in New York. She is now a tutor and mentor on the fellowship. In 2014, she was Her World Magazine's "Young Woman Achiever of the Year".

    Chi Yin read history at the London School of Economics and Political Science for her first two degrees, and was a staff journalist and foreign correspondent for a decade before quitting to become an independent visual practitioner in 2011.





    www.chiyinsim.com

    IG: @chiyin_sim


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    • 1 hr 13 min
    Xingyun Shen on Performance, Greenwashing, and the Meaning of “Sustainability” in Fashion

    Xingyun Shen on Performance, Greenwashing, and the Meaning of “Sustainability” in Fashion

    We talk about protest-dressing, dopamine-dressing, performance-dressing, all the subtle and unsubtle ways of sales associates, and more!



    Xingyun is a freelance researcher and writer who advocates for a more humane fashion system through her work. She studied Fashion Sustainability and Digital Fashion Management at the London College of Fashion and is now the country coordinator for Fashion Revolution Singapore. Seeking to address the importance of intersectionality when analysing fashion sustainability, she runs @noordinaryprotest as a platform to call for a shift in mindset. Her favourite time of the day is 5pm, and her go-to fashion activity is swapping.



    IG: @noordinaryprotest

    Fashion Revolution Singapore


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    • 1 hr 8 min
    Juliette Yu-Ming Lizeray on Connecting the Thread Between Different Dialogues

    Juliette Yu-Ming Lizeray on Connecting the Thread Between Different Dialogues

    We talk to Juliette Yu-Ming Lizeray about her adventures with the Cariocas of Brazil, making films with tsunami survivors in Aceh, working with repatriated migrants in Buenos Aires, syncretism between Afro-Cuban religions and Taoism & Buddhism in Cuba, and interviewing the Southeast Asian restauranteurs of New York City. Plus, surprising similarities that Juliette found between Rio de Janeiro and Singapore, Ruth’s take on “food wars” in Southeast Asia, and a little story about the time Barack Obama’s mother first came to Indonesia, as told by Hadipurnomo to Alexandra!

    What is “carne de rã” codeword for?

    Why is a cake that has no carrots called “carrot cake”?

    What does it mean to be a multipotentialite in today’s world?

    In classic Sugar Nutmeg style, let’s feast and find out!







    Juliette Yu-Ming Lizeray is an anthropologist, writer, filmmaker, and visual artist based in Singapore and New York City. She obtained an MSc in Anthropology and Development from the London School of Economics, and a BA in Cultural Anthropology from Tufts University.

    She conducted anthropological field research among tsunami survivors in Aceh, Central American communities in Boston, the Chinese diaspora in Cuba, indigenous communities in Brazil, and South American migrants in the informal settlements of Buenos Aires. More recently, she has carried out research on music and intercultural theatre in Singapore.

    Juliette also works as a freelance writer and has published exclusive stories about Singapore’s doomsday preppers, furries, buskers and sneakerheads, as well as on ghost-hunting, sustainable urban farming, and the oldest Teochew opera troupe in Singapore.

    Her first book, The Human Spirit Can Overcome Tragedy, is about Acehnese tsunami survivors. Her ethnography of the Central American Solidarity Movement and grassroots organising was published by the Tufts University Anthropology department.

    As a visual artist, she has received several international awards for her documentary and experimental films. Her work has screened at festivals in over 45 countries, including États Généraux du Film Documentaire (France), the Anthology Film Archives (USA), Cine Esquema Novo (Brazil), and Women in Film and TV International Showcase (USA), among others.

    Juliette’s video art and installations have shown at galleries in Rio de Janeiro and New York City. Bringing together her love of anthropology, storytelling and the moving image, she worked as a filmmaking instructor at the Fluminense Federal University in Rio de Janeiro, traveling across Brazil to empower members of indigenous communities to tell their stories through documentary films.

    The program of films she curated, “Dialogues with the Unseen: Short Films from Southeast Asia” is currently playing at the Museum of Moving Image: www.movingimage.us/event/dialogues-with-the-unseen-short-films-from-southeast-asia



    www.movingimage.us/feature/dialogues-with-the-unseen



    www.julietteyuming.com


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    • 1 hr 24 min
    Norman Erikson Pasaribu & Tiffany Tsao on Almosts, Discontinued Futures, and the Misconception about “Magical Realism”

    Norman Erikson Pasaribu & Tiffany Tsao on Almosts, Discontinued Futures, and the Misconception about “Magical Realism”

    Special Holiday Episode! Coinciding with the release of "Happy Stories, Mostly", we talk to Norman Erikson Pasaribu and Tiffany Tsao about their work as translators of each others work and as individual writers themselves. Between Sydney, Bekasi, Bogor and New York, we discuss cultural untranslatability, creating new languages, building new memories through language, and why it’s difficult for readers to appreciate Indonesian literature.  Plus, K-Dramas, fanfics, sinetron, past-less and futureless characters, and whether Dia, Ia, and Nya will be extinct in the future. Whether it's turkey, sate, noodles, nastar, or roll cake, may this Two-Hour Holiday Special accompany your holiday cooking, prep and feast!





    Norman Erikson Pasaribu is a writer, translator, and editor. His first short story collection Hanya Kamu yang Tahu Berapa Lama Lagi Aku Harus Menunggu (Only You Know How Much Longer I Should Wait) was shortlisted for the 2014 Khatulistiwa Literary Award for Prose. His debut poetry collection Sergius Mencari Bacchus (Sergius Seeks Bacchus) won the 2015 Jakarta Arts Council Poetry Competition, was shortlisted for the 2016 Khatulistiwa Literary Award for Poetry, and was one of the best poetry collections of that year by Tempo Magazine. He was also awarded the Young Author Award from the Southeast Asia Literary Council and was chosen as Writer in Residence in Vietnam by the Indonesian National Book Committee and Ministry of Education and Culture. He draws on his experiences queer writer of Batak descent and Christian background. In his work, he plays with alternative gospel, speculative fiction, loneliness, and happiness…mostly. 





    Tiffany Tsao is a writer and literary translator. She is the author of The Oddfits trilogy and The Majesties (originally published in Australia as Under Your Wings). Her translations from Indonesian to English include Dee Lestari’s novel Paper Boats, Laksmi Pamuntjak’s The Birdwoman’s Palate, and Norman Erikson Pasaribu’s poetry collections Sergius Seeks Bacchus and Happy Stories Mostly. Her translations of Norman’s poetry have won the English PEN Presents and English PEN Translates awards. Born in the United States and of Chinese-Indonesian descent, she spent her formative years in Singapore (8 years) and Indonesia (6 years). She has a B.A. in English literature from Wellesley College and a Ph.D. in English literature from UC-Berkeley. She now lives in Sydney, Australia with her spouse and two children.



    www.tiltedaxispress.com/happy-stories-mostly



    www.tiffanytsao.com






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    • 1 hr 48 min
    Nay Saysourinho on Folktales, Fables, Fairy Tales, and the Power of "Passivity"

    Nay Saysourinho on Folktales, Fables, Fairy Tales, and the Power of "Passivity"

    Nay Saysourinho talks to us about heterotopia, folktales and fairy tales, passive resistance and "passive" choices, motherhood, domesticity, and how she learned to find her voice as a writer from listening to her aunties gossip at home. Plus, the impact of the French language, the bond of la Francophonie, the nonchalance of Laotians, and all the things that get lost in translation....



    Nay Saysourinho is a writer, literary critic and visual artist. She was the first recipient of the Adina Talve-Goodman Fellowship from One Story Magazine, and has received fellowships and scholarships from Kundiman, The Writers Grotto, The Mendocino Coast Writers Conference and Tin House. She was a Rona Jaffe Fellow at MacDowell in 2020 and is a Berkeley Fellow at Yale. Her writing was a recent prize winner at the Tucson Literary Awards, and has been published or is forthcoming in Kenyon Review, Ploughshares Blog, Khôra, Fairy Tale Review, and elsewhere. She also reads for Pank Magazine.

    The eldest daughter of Lao refugees, she was born and raised in Québec and spent several years in Saskatchewan. Influenced by the folklore of her home province, the oral history of her diaspora, and the philosophy of Gilles Deleuze, her multidisciplinary work explores ways by which narratives are gathered, transmitted, and deciphered. She is currently completing her first novel, a modern fairy tale set in Southeast Asia, a short story collection about extinct species, and a series of fables using Lao weaving symbology. In June 2021, she joined an art research circle through the Nordic Summer University.



    www.saysourinho.com



    Minor Crimes of Translation






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    • 1 hr 18 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
6 Ratings

6 Ratings

Louis Bayi ,

Learning from passion

Ruth and Alexandra radiate passion about the topics bring. It is very interesting to learn about South East Asia without bias.

B John Gully ,

An informative gem

I see only a bright future for the women leading this podcast. They are bringing such distant topics into proximity for so many, and I applaud them for doing so.

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