Virtual Exhibit Kaagi: Tracing Visayan Identities Through Cultural Texts

Following the 2021 Annual Philippine Studies Conference at SOAS, University of London, PI Cristina Juan curated the virtual exhibit Kaagi: Tracing Visayan Identities Through Cultural Texts. The exhibit explores the ways in which texts, objects and performances negotiate, mediate and translate the ‘Bisaya’ as a collective identifier of culture, language and artistic practice.

Drawing on archival sources on the Visayas, dating up to the 17th century, most specially the Arte de la lengua bisaya hiliguayna de la Isla de Panay (circa 1628) now kept at the SOAS Special Collections and Archives, the exhibit explores the connections between colonial archives and cultural practices from the Visayan region. The exhibit’s interactive portal features ten categories of early contact cultural heritage and extends the exploration by accompanying these with works by contemporary Filipino artists who adapt, transform, and subvert these representations in their practices.

The #sonicentanglements PODCAST IS UP!

THE #sonicentanglements PODCAST IS UP!

Hosted by sound historian meLê yamomo, the Sonic Entanglements Podcast examines the history of sound in Southeast Asia through conversations with sound experts: historians, archivists, sound engineers, artists, and scholars.

SUBSCRIBE TO SONIC ENTANGLEMENTS: Apple Podcasts: Pocket Casts: Podbean: Spotify:


Dana Rappoport’s film “Death of the One Who Knows” selected for Riga Pasaules Film Festival

After having been selected for the Festival du Film de Voyage et d’Aventures Vecues and the Royal Anthropological Institute Film Festival and being commended for the Richard Werbner Award for Visual Anthropology, Dana Rappoport’s documentary film Death of the One Who Knows has now been selected for the Riga Pasaules Film Festival.

In the Toraja highlands of Sulawesi (Indonesia), Lumbaa is one of the last masters of ritual speech. After his forced conversion to Pentecostalism, he is compelled to stop all his ritual activity and oratory. Concerned by the disappearance of “those who know”, a young Catholic priest named Yans Sulo sets out in search of the society’s ancient oral genres, seeking to invent new forms that would keep them alive. The two men meet, but it is too late. By recounting the life and death of Lumbaa, the film shows how the intrusion of a world religion disrupts a Southeast Asian society.

The trailer of the film can be watched here.

Pierre Prouteau appointed as postdoc at DeCoSEAS

We warmly welcome Pierre Prouteau in ours midst. Pierre will work for DeCoSEAS as a postdoctoral researcher on the digitization of PI Dana Rappoport’s Thrice Blooded Land multimedia corpus, and on the constitution of a critical repertoire of colonial French sound archives. Pierre will also help foster and extend dialogues between DeCoSEAS partners in various capacities. More information about Pierre can be found here.

Collaboration Citra Research Center and DeCoSEAS in Indonesian newspaper Kedaulatan Rakyat

On 24 May, DeCoSEAS partner dr. Citra Aryandari was interviewed for the Indonesian newspaper Kedaulatan Rakyat about the collaboration of Citra Research Center (CRC) with DeCoSEAS. CRC has already proposed tangible plans for the exposure to Indonesian communities of the sonic legacy of Jaap Kunst that is now located at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands. Outreach projects in collaboration with local (music) schools and communities are currently being prepared.

DeCoSEAS in Dutch national newspaper NRC

In February, project leaders meLê yamomo and Barbara Titus explained the aims and vision of DeCoSEAS in the Culture Section of the Dutch national newspaper NRC. Through their engagement with the Jaap Kunst Sound Collection, located at the University of Amsterdam, they touched on issues of ownership, extraction, accessibility and repatriation of archived sound material. The interview was flanked by some archived material from the collection, presented on the website of meLê yamomo’s NWO-funded project Sonic Entanglements. The interviews were conducted by NRC journalist Rahul Gandolahage. Pictures: Olivier Middendorp.

The full interview is accessible in Dutch.

The sound sample with commentary is available on the Sonic Entanglements website in Dutch and English.

DeCoSEAS on Folia Magazine

We’d like to share with you an article in the University of Amsterdam magazine, Folia about DeCoSEAS. In this feature about “hidden archives” at UvA, project leaders, Barbara Titus, and meLê yamomo talk about their plans to disclose the Jaap Kunst Ethnomusicology Collection.

“Titus and Yamomo’s plans are challenging. Firstly, they have to organize the collection in a well-organized manner. Now they still maintain different order systems. Second, they want to digitize the material, which according to the researchers is a hell of a job. And third, they want to engage with colleagues from other countries who are also involved in colonial archives and with communities from Southeast Asia, so that barriers that hinder access to the archive disappear.”

Read more on the Folia website.

Dr. LaVerne de la Peña at the Mulat sa Musika ng Kultura II

DeCoSEAS Project Partner Dr. LaVerne C. de la Peña of the UP Center for Ethnmusicology will speak at the “Mulat sa Musika ng Kultura II” webinar organized by the Mindanao State University-Iligan Institute of Technology. Dr. de la Peña’s paper, “Crossing Borders – The Migration of the Mindanaon Kulintang” reflects on how the musical practice of Kulintang has become emblematic of Philippine ethnic and cultural identity among practitioners outside Mindanao. In this online lecture, Dr. de la Peña takes us down 2 streams of musical transplantation.

Date and Time: March 6, Thursday, at 3 PM (Philippine Time)


ZOOM LINK (Passcode: mumuku2k)

Postdoctoral Position: Southeast Asian Music Research


The postdoc will be part of the international and interdisciplinary project team and is supposed to:

• develop and maintain contacts with South-East Asian academic and non-academic partners
• participate in the inventory of South-East Asian archives and sound corpus preserved in France
• participate in the development of OnLine Digital Humanity Project Songs from the Thrice-blooded Land : Ritual music of the Toraja from Sulawesi (deposit of data on the platform Didomena at EHESS, computer input, working with IT specialists for the website). Develop a structure and description of archived data corresponding to the needs of the communities.
• assisting the project leaders with various tasks, such as the organization of workshops, the taking of minutes and the communication among the consortium partners.

1 position of 12 months (renewable) is open in the framework of the European project DeCoSEAS, Decolonizing South East Asian Sound Archives (2021-2024)

A Dutch-French-British research consortium, led by Barbara Titus and meLê yamomo (University of Amsterdam), has received a grant for a three-year project (2021-2024) entitled Decolonizing Southeast Asian Sound Archives (DeCoSEAS). The project renegotiates established understandings of heritage curation by disclosing three unique sound collections, located in Europe, with extremely rare music and sound from Southeast Asia (SEA). These collections have worldwide fame in terms of their quality, quantity and diversity, but are barely accessible. The project responds to the European Call “Cultural Heritage, Identities and Perspectives: Responding to Changing Societies” (CHIP).

The multidisciplinary and transnational research team encompasses expertise in ethnomusicology, sound studies, anthropology, linguistics, digital humanities (audio-visual production, digital data preservation) and theatre studies. The project’s management structure and procedures are network-based, working with partners in archives, museums, media and festivals in The Philippines, Laos, Indonesia, The Netherlands, France, the UK and Germany.

The project partners carry out four work packages (WP). They facilitate physical access to the collections for Southeast Asian stakeholders (WP1), online access for scholars, artists and stakeholders worldwide (WP2), publication channels about heritage curation for Southeast Asian stakeholders (WP3) and outreach projects for culture consumers worldwide (WP4). The WPs have been devised to interrogate the colonial patrimony of archives, to conceive a new digital curational framework, to transfer publishing and editing agencies about heritage curation to heritage stakeholders, and to democratize curatorial practices.

The postdoc will be based at the Centre Asie du Sud-Est (CASE), Aubervilliers (Campus Condorcet). He/she may conduct his/her own research parttime, research that is aligned to the DeCoSEAS aims. The intersections of the postdoc research and the project’s aims will be discussed with postdoc, project leaders and/or principal investigator in consultation. The fixed-term contract will be signed for 12 months initially (part time), renewable for 6 months.

Eligibility criteria

Applicants must hold a PhD in ethnomusicology. Proficiency in at least one vernacular language of a Southeast Asian country will be appreciated. A perfect command of French and English is required.

A successful applicant is expected to

• be able to motivate and valorise research findings,
• be a team player adapting to various professional, cultural and linguistic contexts,
• be well versed into the digital humanities environment

Particular skills encompass:
• expertise in documentary practices, online databases, common metadata formats and audio and video files, and tools for disseminating multimedia heritage on the web,
• Proficiency in the handling of data tables (Excel or Libre Office) and in employment of computer tools related to the handling and documentation of multimedia archives (images, sound, video, text, video and audio software),
• knowledge of organology of the South East Asian region and of European colonial history.

Additional comments

The application file must be in PDF format and include:
• A curriculum vitae with a list of publications
• A copy of the PhD diploma or equivalent certificate
• The “rapport de thèse” (report on the PhD defense), or, only in the case of doctorates obtained from universities that do not release such rapports de thesis itself, three letters of reference.
• A project describing postdoctoral research and activities fitting in precisely with the Decoseas project program (2 pages maximum) – in French or English.
Shortlisted candidates may be requested to provide additional materials.

Web site for additional job details