Meet the team working behind the scenes to bring you the latest information and perspectives on arts and culture in Asia and Europe:
Sabina Santarossa - Director Cultural Exchange (ASEF)
Director, Cultural Exchange, The Asia-Europe Foundation Sabina Santarossa is ASEF’s Director of Cultural Exchange. Prior to her appointment, she served as First Secretary at the Permanent Representation of Italy to the UN Organisation in Rome (2007 – 2009). She also served as First Secretary at the Italian Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand (2004-2007), and held the position of Chief of Cultural Events at the Department for Cultural Promotion, Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rome (2000-2004). Before becoming a career diplomat, Ms Santarossa worked as a journalist and broadcast producer for different European media organisations (Rome, Brussels, London and Amsterdam). She obtained her MA in Political Science from the Università La Sapienza in Rome; studied under the Erasmus Scholarship with the University of Leiden; and attended an MA programme in Area Studies (South Asia) at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London.
Deputy Director, Department of Cultural Exchange Anupama Sekhar, an Indian national, joined ASEF in January 2009. As Deputy Director, she is in charge of the department’s day-to-day operations. She also manages the department’s activities in the field of cultural policy. Anupama is a member of the U40 group of young cultural policy experts, launched by the German Commission for UNESCO and supported by the International Federation of Coalitions for Cultural Diversity. She is also a trained dancer in the Indian classical style of Bharatnatyam. Prior to joining ASEF, Anupama worked with the United Nations and in the arts sector in India.She holds a Master of Art degree in International Studies and a Bachelor of Art degree in English Literature from Stella Maris College, Chennai, India.
Project Manager, Department of Cultural Exchange Valentina Riccardi is Project Manager for Cultural Exchange, where she oversees ASEF’s initiatives related to the development of platforms and networks. She joined the ASEF in January 2009 to focus specifically on ASEF’s arts and culture portal culture360.org. Since then, she has successfully coordinated the re-launch of culture360.org in April 2010. In 2011, she has focused on the conceptualization and launch of film.culture360.org dedicated to independent cinema as well as the new website of the Asia-Europe Museum Network (ASEMUS). Valentina holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Sciences from the University of Rome – La Sapienza. She obtained her Master’s degree in Art Business from the Sotheby’s Institute of Art Singapore – University of Manchester and completed a thesis on the validation system of Indian contemporary art.
Project Officer, Department of Cultural Exchange Born in Yokohama, Japan, Sali Sasaki joined ASEF in 2012. She is a communication designer, researcher, and writer specialized in cities and cultural development. She is the former manager of UNESCO’s Creative Cities, an international network of 28 cities, from over 15 different countries. Since 2008, she is freelancing with international organizations in Europe and Asia. She has developed several cultural projects including the Design DNA Workshop for the International Design Center in Nagoya, and Cities x Design, a transmedia publication on the role of design in urban environments. She is also an Ambassador for the INDIGO Indigenous Design Network by ICOGRADA, a consultant for the World Design Capital, and a visiting tutor at Parsons Paris School of Design. Sali holds a Master of Arts degree in Communication Design from the Royal College of Art (UK). She currently divides her time between Paris and Tokyo.
Technical and Social Media Coordinator Jeffrey was brought on to culture360.org because of his hybrid IT/Culture background. His first degree was in computer science. In 2000 he was part of a team developing the online community @ iAgora.com. From there he went to the Technology for Social Justice, Reach for the Clouds Project, a “resident-maintained networked community”. It was from these early experiences, that he became fascinated with the Internet and all its possibilities, particularly community building and participation. From 2004-7 he completed a Master in Sustainable Heritage Development at the Australian National University, worked in an ICT capacity at UNESCO Bangkok’s Culture Unit and The Beijing Cultural Heritage Protection Center. There he witnessed the difficulties the culture sector faced attempting to harness the power of the Internet, with limited IT skills and financial resources. He is a keen advocate of Creative Commons and Open Source technologies, as they are essential tools and platforms for new media arts and culture, and represent cultures of collaboration, sharing and promotion of access to tools and knowledge.
Asia-Europe Editor Judith Staines is the Asia-Europe Editor of Culture360.org. She is a freelance writer, researcher, editor and project manager based in the UK who specialises in European cultural cooperation and international mobility issues. She has worked on many projects for European cultural networks, contributed to EU studies and was General Editor of www.on-the-move.org 2004-2009. She is co-author The International Co-Production Manual (2011, IETM & KAMS), wrote Excited Atoms (2010, On-the-Move) on virtual mobility and new media in the performing arts, and co-authored Moving Art, a bilingual guide to the mobility of cultural goods between Russia and the EU (2007). She was English Editor of the EU-China Cultural Compass on Europe-China cultural collaboration, published 2011 by the Goethe-Institut, British Council & Danish Cultural Institute. Her background is in European languages and literature with a degree from London University in French and Romanian and postgraduate studies in European cultural project management.
Technology and Design Partners
The following writers have contributed to culture360.org: Air Manuporn, Anjali Devidayal, Anupama Sekhar, Aye-Shil, Jeon, Azizah Fauziah, Darcy Paquet, David Ocon, Dragan Klaic, Florentina Bratfanof, Ive Stevenheydens, Jerneja Rebernak, Llobet & Pons, Mary Ann DeVlieg, Sali Sasaki (佐々木 沙梨), Sasiwimon Wongjarin, Shirley Abraham, Siddharth Chadha, Susanne Rogenhofer, Vanini Belarmino