Jan Mrázek: Encounters with China and Singapore in Riau Islands and Indonesian ‘South China Sea’: Images, Stories, Nets


3. 7. 2019 10:00


Trainee centre 3.40, Vodární 6, Olomouc


In the last few years, Jan Mrázek has organized several seafaring voyages for his students mostly Singaporean Chinese, with a few Malays – to the Riau Islands Province of Indonesia, a sea of hundreds of islands, historically, culturally and economically closely linked to, yet also increasingly separated from, Singapore and Malaysia. Taking the encounters between Singapore islanders (ourselves) and Riau islanders as a point of departure, Jan Mrázek will share experiences, impressions and reflections concerning the ethnically and religiously heterogeneous yet closely-knit communities, the communication and separation among them (which involves also links/division across national borders), with focus on the ethnic Chinese in this region, and on how they in different ways figure in the multi-ethnic communities. As they travelled, Jan Mrázek and his students were impressed by the variety of networks and movement across the region, including Singapore, Malaysia and China (and to some extent Thailand and Vietnam), by connectedness and isolation – ours as much as theirs, and by a varying fluidity/solidity of identities, allegiances, and borders.