Arts and Culture Specialist

สตรี (SATREE) : Supporting women in art, crafts and social innovation - Bangkok Symposium

A woman (Nikki Ralston) inside a community centre room holding up a red t shirt and black face mask proudly holding up an artwork made from recycled plastic.

I recently returned from a flying visit to Bangkok as part of theDESIAP (Designing Social Innovation in Asia Pacific)

Women’s Leadership Program. I have been participating in the program as a mentor working with two women – one based in Melbourne and another in Hong Kong. This small group mentoring, as well as other program activities including mentor-peer group sessions and tri-monthly meetings have all taken place on line, so it was an absolute joy to be able to fly to Bangkok to meet my mentees, the other participants and the project team in person!

Over three days we shared our learnings and experiences of the program, viewed some exhibitions as part of the Bankok Art Biennial, toured the local Nang Loeng community and created artworks out of recycled plastic in the Community Centre, were treated to an incredible performance by Kry Kanya, a traditional Chatri dancer, and got to know each other better over amazing Thai food. The short trip culminated in a public Symposium, ” สตรี (SATREE) : Supporting women in art, crafts and social innovation,” where we shared our experiences, emerging research findings, performances, artworks and workshops with each other and members of the public.

The trip was over all too soon, but the experience and the things I have learnt will stay with me, and are already influencing the way I approach my work and my life.