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ARTSURGE 2021 : Amplifying Youth’s creativity and aspirations across ASEAN and Timor Leste

“Collective and Creative is the best way to move forward amidst Covid.”

ART SURGE International Youth Day Conference convened youth of various backgrounds from the region and beyond last August 28, 2021. The event became platform for Creatives and to connect and/or reconnect in the new normal; and highlight the value of creativity and talents to weave inspiring stories and perspectives that can reshape and impact the world today. ArtSEA and Artdialogo Asia their program supporters; the National Youth Council Singapore, ASEAN Youth Forum , Rotary Club of Bandar Utama , K Biz, Paragon International University, Friends of St. Mary Mckillop , in the Wild, World Youth Alliance, IPeace, and Indigenous Peoples Education for art culture & Empowerment; collaborate to highlight creative leadership and youth development through an artistic and creative lens.

The theme of the conference is “Reconnecting the Youth, Aspirations and Identities through Art in the New Normal”. Participants were welcomed by National Youth Council Singapore’s CEO Mr. David Chua as he shared about the importance for the youth to be agile and flexible to foster collaborations, resilience and harness the positivity brought by creativity during this extraordinary time. ARTSEA’s founder Ms. Kristin Dwek and Artdialogo Asia’s founding artist, Ms. Anna Karina Jardin collectively opened the the program and highlighted their shared goals to build solid an ecosystem for creative and transformative collaborations that bridges peoples, ideas and cultures while offering a platform for young voices to be heard.

Participants learnt insights from Creative Industry Leaders, Artists and Youth Advocates. Learn from our Seasoned Panelists from the British Council Malaysia, Ms. Florence Lambert, Head of Arts and Creative Industries ; Youth Nation Builder, Lawyer and politician form Malaysia, Mr. Danni Rais ; and Artist and Advocate for Indigenous People's Rights and Heritage , Mr. Silvino Dulnuan. The discussion pivot around the theme and all the panelists shared their platforms on how to empower the youth in general and maximize the role of creativity and connections to achieve and foster a more sustainable future where all can thrive regardless of their background. The participants were also delighted and treated to a special performance live from Timor Leste by Renowned Singer song writer, Ms. Randa Santo.

Various Breakout workshops aimed to create a cross cultural exchanges on the topics of cultural heritage safeguarding and identity, leadership, creative thinking respectively led by Micah Hilotin and Handiong Kapuno; and Anna Karina Jardin , Senor Gelley Neves and who are all accomplished artists and activists from Philippines and Timor Leste; World Youth Alliance’s President, Lord Pomperado; and Kristin Dwek. It was an afternoon of interesting dialogues, new learnings and friendships. With the programs lined up in this year’s ARTSURGE 2021 Conference, it is the collective hope of the organizers and its supporters to touch base and connect with like minded creatives, and instill the growing value of creativity and artistry in youth development.

The program capped off with the awarding ceremony of winners and an art exhibition. The winners of the People’s choice awards from ARTSEA and Artdialogo Asia’s pages are Kimbert Baino and Chlesea De Lemos. The Jury’s Choices in are Alyssa Lucelle Reynales (8th); John Benedict Ortiz (7th); Jeffrey Paulino Carduce (6th); Dyah Ayu Puditasari (5th); Abraham Rodriguez (4th); Brian Oliver Ramos (3rd); Leemer Barbado (2nd); and Bejay Songcog who bagged the Grand prize.

ARTSURGE 2021 Team and supporters congratulate all the winners and all the participants who joined competition. ARTSURGE 2021 received hundreds of marvelous artworks that speak volume of the youth’s aspirations and identity as a citizen of ASEAN and Timor Leste. Each of them already carved and immortalized their support through making and sharing their works of art to the world.

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