We are excited to announce the launch of an initiative aimed at leadership capacity building with women-identifying individuals who are creative and passionate about supporting their community through social innovation. Our new initiative is bringing together multiple projects, led by Northumbria University, RMIT, Bangkok University and Kanazawa College of Art. Through the DESIAP network, we have invited 6 mentors, 2 guest mentors and 14 mentees this year to take part in a 13-month online mentoring programme that will run from Feb 2022 to Feb 2023. The programme will draw on the experience and expertise of DESIAP and Kogei-net members to support emerging women leaders in the Asia-Pacific region. We are also supported by the British Council Thailand and the AWSEN network.
Our scheme this year has two main focuses: (i) supporting women craftspeople based in Australia and Japan to develop their leadership capacity through accessible, relevant gender-inclusive leadership training in the form of co-designed workshops and events; (ii) supporting social innovators based in Thailand and Malaysia in developing their leadership capacity in sustaining business resilience and community cohesion. By empowering groups of women through co-developed mentoring, our initiative aims to increase equity, diversity and inclusion in the creative economies, including the crafts industries and communities.
This initiative is bringing together multiple projects supported by the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council [Project reference: AH/W006952/1] and the Australian Government through the Australia-Japan Foundation [Project reference: AJF2021086].
As we approach the Autumn months in 2022, our project is also entering a new phase where our mentees prepare to undertake mentoring in their own fields of work, you can read more about our 2022 mentee's and their inspiring stories here.
It's the season of transitions, we are busy planning events and compiling resources to support our mentees to reflect on their peer-mentoring experience and help them think about how they might engage in mentoring others.
Joyce Yee is Professor of Design and Social Innovation at Northumbria School of Design, UK. Joyce’s research explores how design is used to support, enable and drive change through the creation of innovative practices in organisations. She co-founded the Designing Social Innovation in Asia-Pacific network (www.desiap.org) in 2015 with Dr Yoko Akama, RMIT in Australia, as a peer learning network for social innovation practitioners using design. She is passionate about design for social good and advocates for culturally diverse and locally relevant practices that challenge the dominant industrialized and western-centric models of design.
Dr Yoko Akama is an Associate Professor in communication design at RMIT University. Her design practice is informed by Japanese philosophy of between-ness and mindfulness, to consider how and what futures can be created together. She has won several awards for her research with communities to strengthen their adaptive capacity for disaster resilience in Australia. Her current work contributes towards the efforts of Indigenous Nations enact self-determination and governance. Yoko is a leader and co-founder of several design networks – Service Design Melbourne and DESIS-Lab Melbourne – to support a diverse community of practice to tackle complex problems through design.
Sarah Teasley works across history, design research and social practice, with particular interests in the lived experience of old new biomaterials and biotechnologies in global circulation, and in how human and non-human power relations shape experience, within and as the result of design projects. Her other core research interest lies in transdisciplinary approaches and exchange between academic disciplines and between researchers and diverse industry and social communities, to enable and strengthen capacities for meaningful social and environmental change. At RMIT, she serves as Associate Dean for Research and Innovation in the School of Design. She teaches onto BA Industrial Design and the Masters in Design Innovation and Technology, and offers HDR supervisions in Design. Prior to joining RMIT in 2020, she was Reader in Design History and Head of Programme for History of Design at the Royal College of Art.
Yuko Kikuchi is Professor of Craft History and Studies at the Department of SCAPe (Sustainable Contemporary Art Practice and Visual Culture Studies), Kanazawa College of Art. Professor Kikuchi-san has contributed significantly to our understanding of the relationship between the art and crafts movement in Britain and Japan. In 1997, she curated the travelling exhibition, Ruskin in Japan 1890-1940: Nature for Art, Art for Life. This was followed by a publication based on her PhD, Japanese Modernisation and Mingei Theory: Cultural Nationalism and Oriental Orientalism. She has since focused particularly on the East Asian perspective on craft and design, including Refracted Modernity: Visual Culture and Identity in Colonial Taiwan, Honolulu: University of Hawai‘i Press (2007).
Khemmiga Teerapong has been working as a design educator and graphic design practitioner since 2004. She completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts in visual communication design from Silpakorn University, Thailand and Master of Arts in graphic design from the University of the Arts London, UK. Khemmiga is interested in the design research methodology in graphic design. She undertook a PhD degree RMIT University, Australia. Her PhD focuses on developing research methods for graphic design.
Ko-Le Chen (DESIAP)
Northumbria University (UK/Taiwan)
Ko-Le is an experienced videographer and ethnographer. Her research interest lies at the intersection of art and science. Her doctoral thesis explored the materiality of knowledge in computing through a long-term ethnography conducted at a computing science lab. Ko-Le specialise in understanding workplaces (such as academic institutions) and she is particularly interested in the materiality and performativity of mundane artefacts, routines and cultures. Her passion is in linking anthropological thinking and performance studies with Design and HCI to create an interdisciplinary framework for understanding technological practices in cross-cultural contexts.
Sarah Kushinsky’s (Kush’s) role in this project is Research and Project Assistant, so she’s here to assist you in any way she can. She is a researcher and/or digital communications designer for education and social innovation, with a Masters in Design Research from RMIT. Her special interest lies in community-led design in the education, non-profit, and social innovation sectors; specifically leadership, practitioner agency and resilience, and messy issues around power.
She lives and works in Melbourne, Australia on unceded eastern Kulin lands, but has been lucky to work globally.
In her spare time she’s pursuing a lifelong wish to study Marine Biology and Zoology.
Akane Nakamori is an artist, independent curator and the Art Director of Gallery Suisei-Art in Kanazawa city, Japan. Akane set up Suisei-Art in 1998 as an independent organisation to introduce the works of contemporary artists through exhibitions, lectures and collaborative projects.
She has also curated and directed site-specific exhibitions in abandoned or unused old houses in Kanazawa including machiya (traditional Japanese townhouse). Recent examples of sustainable local culture planning through creative projects:
Areli is a Mexican strategic designer, facilitator, design researcher, and mentor.
She is passionate about challenging notions and contradictions of the practice of design by rethinking the way a situation is framed. At the moment, Areli is very intrigued with the intersections of design, capitalism, and decolonisation. Her practice overlaps between social and environmental areas using design strategy, systems thinking, respectful design, and community-centred design approaches with a strong multidisciplinary collaborative focus.
Through competitive research grants, fellowships, and teaching partnerships she has led research projects within a wide range of topics including social justice, environmental sustainability, circular economy, global crisis and humanitarian scenarios, decolonialisation of design practices, maternal health, children’s rights. Collaborations with industry partners include Australia Post, Alzheimer Victoria, Australian Red Cross, Utopia, Deloitte, Salvation Army, eBay, and Sustainability Victoria, Rotary Club, Amnesty International among others.
Lina Patel is a first generation migrant, born in Kenya and raised on the lands of the Dharawal and Eora Nations. She is a facilitator and poet living on Wurundjeri Woiwurrung Country and working globally.
Her mission is to alleviate needless workplace suffering and bring more kindness into the world, one team at a time. As a professional facilitator working with groups, she is inclusive, outcomes oriented, and comfortable asking difficult questions compassionately, so that people get to the heart of the matter.
Lina works with people and organisations around the world who value positive social outcomes and want to get better at how they work together.
Michiko Tsuda (Mentor 2022-2023)
Tsuda focuses on creative work based on the characteristics of video. The realization of her works involves spatial choreography and collaborations with performers. Her works represent a unique special expansion and poetic richness, and take variety of forms such as installation, video and performance. In recent years, she also does performance as a unit “baby tooth” with Megumi Kamimura. Her installation work “You would come back there to see me again the following day.” has received the New Face Award at the 20th Japan Media Arts Festival in 2017. Exhibitions include the solo show “Observing Forest” (zarya contemporary art center, Vladivostok, 2017), “The Day After Yesterday” (TARO NASU, Tokyo, 2015), and the group exhibition “Aichi Triennale 2019”, “Roppongi Crossing 2019: Connexions” (Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, 2019). She completed a Doctoral Program in Film and New Media Studies at the Graduate School of Film and New Media, Tokyo University of the Arts, in 2013 and received a grant from the Asian Cultural Council(ACC) for a 6-month residency in New York in 2019.
Nikki is an arts and culture specialist with a passion for helping artists and creatives bring their ideas to life. She has a Master’s of Arts and Cultural Management, and extensive skills and experience gained through working in the arts and culture sector both in Australia and in the UK.
Sayaka has worked at IBM as Business Consultant in 2007-2011 and left IBM after the Great East Earthquake in 2011. Since 2011, Sayaka has been involved with several projects in Japan and ASEAN countries to empower the people’s possibilities through business.
In Japan, she has started an enterprise which produces natural cosmetics made by natural resources of that area to generate jobs at the Tsunami disaster area since 2011.In ASEAN and East Asia, Sayaka organizes the Asian Women Social Entrepreneurs Network (AWSEN) which was established in 2014. She also does the consultation work for Japanese private companies and creates PPP projects with JICA in Asia, Middle East and Africa.
Finalist of Nikkei Social Initiative Award of 2012 and 2013. Finalist of The Entrepreneur Awards Japan 2015.
Advisory board of Nikkei Social Business Contest since 2017.
Amanda Ho (Mentee 2022-2023)
Amanda Ho is a Melbourne based weaver. Born in Melbourne and spending part of her childhood in Hong Kong, her practice draws on the duality of her heritage.
Amanda started weaving while studying textile design at RMIT University and continued to develop her craft while working as an architect. After further studies in Japan, she began to refocus her practice from architecture to weaving, starting the weavers’ workroom and transitioning to weaving in 2015.
With over 20 years of experience in architecture, her interest in design, materials, patterns and structures continues to be reflected in her work.
She employs a contemporary approach to traditional techniques and materials in both function and non-functional works. She has exhibited at Wangaratta Art Gallery in both ‘Petite’ and ‘Contemporary Textile Award’, with pieces in their permanent collection.
Armani Shahrin is the Founder of NAKSENI (nakseni.com), an ecommerce
site for art merchandise from artwork by PWD (Persons With Disabilities) artists, and also project consultant for WE&I Art, collective of PWD artists, organising and managing annual art festivals prior to the COVID19 pandemic. She has previously worked with a Malaysian-based online marketplace for homegrown brands, and has over 10 years of
experience in the business events and entertainment industry.
Armani created NAKSENI to build career opportunities and elevate the value of art by PWD artists starting with her own autistic artist sister, Izzati Shahrin. Apart from selling art merchandise online, NAKSENI also hosts art events for the PWD artists, such as exhibitions, art jams sessions, and
Art Unit EbRu is a collective originally formulated in 2013 by Rei Sato, Eri Sakiyama and Jumi Tanabe during their student days in the Crafts Department of Kanazawa College of Art. Their experimental works explored a marbling technique that mixed colours and materials. After graduation, each went their own way, taking career paths in fashion, ceramic industry, and special effects makeup respectively.
Their friendship brought them back to work on a concept to create headpieces for mobile devices, which went on to earn them the Swatch Art Prize at International Talent Support in 2020. Subsequently, EBRU Inc. was officially founded, and their success attracted the attention of Ishikawa Prefecture which awarded the company their Women’s Entrepreneur Prize in 2021. Currently, through their earphone brand ‘EARMIND’, EBRU Inc. is trying economic and social success all for artists and creators.
Born in Hong Kong and with a multicultural background living in Toronto, London and Tokyo, Joyce aims to explore the multiple definitions of ‘family’ through film and interdisciplinary practices.
After working at an architecture NPO and as an art book & magazine editor, Joyce returned to school in 2020 to pursue a Master degree at the Graduate School of Film and New Media, Tokyo University of the Arts.
Joyce holds a BA in Japanese and Economics from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London and a MA in Media and Governance from Keio University.
Jun Yi is the manager of KongsiKL, an art space based in a warehouse, where she produces and organizes events and projects with her small team. She is also the assistant producer of the multidisciplinary collaborative platform, Seni Tiga.
As the co-founder of Kita Semula, Jun Yi has initiated several urban intervention programs with her team. She has also set up museums with the curatorial team of Lostgens’ as an architectural designer and as a co-curator with her team from UCSI University.
She enjoys creating platforms and finds meaning in working with other people.
Lhotse Collins lives and works on the land of the Wurundjeri people in Naarm/Melbourne. She undertook a Bachelor of Fine arts at Monash Art, Design and Architecture, and completed her Honours of Fine Arts at The Victorian College of the Arts in 2021.
Lhotse Collins’ practice is based in an attentive relationship to matter, which dissolves the seeping boundaries between bodies. Through this material attention, Collins’ practice considers its potential as a method for decolonising ways of thinking. Tracing back to ancestral bodies through craft processes and enactments of pagan ritual, these past and present actions interrogate processes of colonisation.
A concern with place shifts the work towards considering the impacts of agriculture and land transformation. These fragile, itching and unresolved tensions are the womb of her work.
Narawat Welployngam (Mentee 2022-2023)
My name is Narawat Welployngam [Nammon]. I was born and raised in Nang Loeng Community, Old Town, Bangkok. I am a Thai artist, project director, community developer and networker, cook and collector.
I am the owner of Baan NangLearng, Community Center and artist in residence. I founded the E-Learng Group, a non-profit organization and Artist Collective in 2007, and of Community Lab, community database, local studio and Incubator Hub in 2019.
I am interested in how art and culture can be used as tactical tools for community mobilization and development through collaborations with active members in the community.
Nitcharee Peneakchanasak (Mentee 2022-2023)
Nitcharee Peneakchanasak acquired her disability at the age of 14, but she maintains her positiveness and active lifestyle. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass-communication from Thammasat University.
She is passionate about motivating people to live a positive life and has engaged herself in delivering several speeches and motivational talks at the national level. Currently she is pursuing her master’s degree in Industrial and Organizational Psychology at Chulalongkorn University.
She currently works as communicator and campaigner for people with disabilities in Thailand and continues her goal to motivate and inspire people to live a positive life, and to advocate for inclusive workplace for all.
Ruslina Muleng (Mentee 2022-2023)
Ruslina is from the deep South of Thailand with a can-do attitude to drive a better social harmony. She advocates for affirmative actions for persons with disabilities and collective youth empowerment for a better future.
Her projects also calls for women’s empowerment through social engagement and public collaboration. She strongly believes in the potential growth and uniquely individuals’ abilities to drive a better change.
Sae Shimizu (Mentee 2022-2023)
Sae is a MA student at the Aesthetics and Art History-SCAPe, Kanazawa College of Art. Her study in France during 2017-18 made her keenly aware of her own hybrid identity as a Japanese woman with ancestorial roots in Korea. This has developed her research in scrutinising the normative frame of Modern Japanese Art History through the perspective of feminism, post-colonialism, and transnationalism.
Continuing the research underpinning her undergraduate thesis on the issues of Japanese Comfort Women, she is currently exploring the methodology of “intersectionality” for redressing and rewriting art history, as she establishes herself as a curator.
Her first public exhibition, “Stories The Mermaids Tell” (2021) made the multiple voices of women and transgender artists heard, and presented questions about the paternalistic and heterosexual-centred ideologies that dominate in Japan and in particular, in Kanazawa.
Shauntai Batzke (Mentee 2022 – 2023)
Wiradjuri soprano, composer and writer; Shauntai Batzke is a principal artist with Short Black Opera and an Alumna of the Melba Opera Trust. Shauntai holds a BMus at the Melbourne Conservatorium UniMelb. Shauntai has spent two summers in New York in vocal and performance training at Belle Arti Center of the Arts and in 2019 gave a world premier of her original chamber and orchestral compositions at the Port Fairy Spring Music Festival ‘19. She made her debut as a solo artist with Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in 2020 singing ‘Long Time Living Here’, A musical Acknowledgement of Country composed by Deborah Cheetham AO and sang this same piece for the opening of each performance of MSO’s 2021 season of Peter and the Wolf at Hamer Hall. In June 2021, Shauntai made her debut performance with Victorian Opera in Deborah Cheetham AO’s new opera ‘Parrwang Lifts the Sky’. Shauntai is now in the process of writing an exciting new Australian Musical supported by Creative Victoria and looks forward to presenting it to the world stage within the next two years. Noted productions include; Pecan Summer (Short Black Opera), Ragtime, Showboat (The Production Company), Beginning of Nature (Australian Dance Theatre), RICERCAR (Present Tense Ensemble), Fidelio (Melbourne Opera) and Corrugation Road (Black Swan Theatre)
Yvonne Tan (Mentee 2022-2023)
Yvonne Tan is an instructional designer and researcher who is passionate about socio-political issues within Southeast Asia. She has worked in public policy research institutes like the United Nations University – International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH) and Research Triangle Institute. She has bylines in Malaysiakini, Malaysia Now, and Malaysian Insight.
Naw Tha Ku Paul (Guest mentor 2022-2023)
Naw Tha Ku Paul (Mie Mie) is the senior program manager that coordinates the overall programming of PointB within Myanmar. In addition she is the senior trainer among the Myanmar staff and mentors younger national trainers at PointB to develop skills and techniques in visual-thinking, human-centered design, research and facilitation for community development and experiential learning.
Mie Mie has spearheaded non-formal education and child protection networks for migrant communities in Thailand. She coordinated the development of the first school to adapt Montesorri methods in Mawlamyine. She has a Master degree in Elementary Education from Spicer Memorial College in India.
Suthasina Chaolertseree (Guest mentor 2022-2023)
Fern Suthasina Chaolertseree is a user strategy consultant under her own small strategy house named MATSH, which means a proper path. Having a background in marketing research with global agency and a master’s degree in Service Design, Fern is blending beauty from both marketing and design thinking fields to reveal generative solutions to the business or social challenges. MATSH’s client includes both private and public sectors; covering in various industries such as FMCG, healthcare, property, energy, social agencies and NGOs.
Standing in the middle of different genres and sizes of client, Fern enjoys experimenting in bridging all learnings and exposures to deliver the most possible well-rounded strategy to the market and society.
Fumiko Ichikawa has received her Masters degree in Human Computer Interaction from Keio University. In her commercial career, she has worked with many leading companies and design offices, where she took lead in global design research based in Finland, China, and Japan. After the financial crisis and the great earthquake that took place in Northern Japan in 2011, Fumiko co-founded a company Re:public, Inc together with Hiroshi, Tamura. Together with national and regional governments, companies of all sizes, and educational institutes, her mission is to empower individuals and develop innovation platforms for the better future. Fumiko is a member of Reach, the global design research network, and a founding director of Innovators 100, an innovation program commissioned by Hiroshima prefecture. She also organizes a Serial Innovators consortium, an alliance where she studies how innovators create and deliver breakthrough innovations.
Joseph Foo is the founding partner and executive creative director of 3nity since 1996 – a n established and award-winning multi-disciplinary brand identity consultancy in Malaysia – alongside two other partners, Leong Kah Fai and Luke Teong.
A graphic designer by training, Joseph has in recent years placed his focus in education and community led projects. His latest collaborative project is the A Book & Chocolate (ABC) – a learning space for the children of the Annapurna region that was created for the local community to encourage literacy among
their children. He actively promotes the idea of ‘social innovation’ to clients, encouraging them to make a difference with their business by also meeting the social needs of the local community. Between 2017 to 2019, he co-founded kongsikl and rexkl, a place-making and repurposing of old building in Kuala Lumpur to create both economic viability for businesses and promote development of social enterprise, arts and culture to the surrounding communities.
He sits at the advisory board of School of the Arts, University of Science Malaysia & Dasein Academy of arts. Beyond Malaysia, he teaches and conducts workshops at institutions across Asia, Europe, the UK and US. He has been involved in the Neighbor Programme, which is a ‘ research as practice’ project aimed at reconnecting Art & Design institutions within the South-East Asian region. Recently he chaired the design & packaging section of London International Awards (Chinese Creativity show) in Las Vegas, USA.
Lauren Tan is a Specialist Director at Deloitte Consulting Australia who leads Design for Business, a team that enables Human-Centred Design to be used to tackle complex business, government and societal challenges. She received a PhD in Design (2012) after investigating designer roles in addressing and tackling social issues. She is a published co-author of the book Design Transitions: Inspiring Stories. Global Viewpoints. How Design is Changing (2013). Lauren has presented at numerous global conferences on the topics of service design, co-design, design methodology, design education and the role of the design in social impact. She has also presented at TEDx Montreal (2010).
Patcharawee has been working as Head of Arts and Creative Industries for the British Council in Thailand since 2014. Prior to joining the British Council, she worked at the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organisation – Regional Centre for Archaeology and Fine Arts (SEAMEO-SPAFA) as Specialist in Cultural Heritage Management, where she managed regional programmes on heritage conservation and management as well as on Southeast Asian arts and archaeology.
At the British Council, the recent focus of her work is on the development of crafts and creative hubs in Thailand through collaboration and cultural exchanges with the UK. The Crafting Futures programme in Thailand successfully supported more than 5,000 community members and artisans across Thailand, including women artisans in the Deep South and Tai Lue artisans in Nan. She has worked with Applied Arts Scotland to develop the Digital Craft Toolkit, an online course on craft business development giving free access to knowledge to artisans, entrepreneurs and students, which is now rolled out in 12 countries including India, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, and used as a part of university-level curriculum in Scotland and Malaysia. On Creative Hubs, she works to promote social innovation and collaboration for social impacts through creative networks and creative hubs across Thailand. More recently, she has launched and co-developed a number of research projects for the British Council, including Creative Ageing in Thailand, Disability Arts in Thailand, Social Impacts of Thai Creative Hubs, and Cultural Heritage for Inclusive Growth in Southeast Asia.
Patcharawee graduated with an MA in Southeast Asian Studies from SOAS, University of London and a PhD in Historic Archaeology from Silpakorn University, Thailand.
Yi Zhang (Advisory Board)
Yi supports individuals and organizations to reimagine during times of uncertainty or injustice and create new possibilities for equity and flourishing. Yi does this work as an artist, coach, educator and facilitator. In the sphere of design and social innovation, over the past 10 years Yi has worked with a variety of social impact organizations and was the Social Innovation Program Director at VIA in California and led trainings for changemakers from across Asia and the United States. Today, Yi continues to create workshops and programs in support of movements for just and thriving communities including a recent project coaching and building the Family Centered Design ecosystem with the Early Learning Lab. For the past five years, Yi has also worked with the Berrett-Koehler (BK) Foundation to innovate its program and staffing structure while creating programs that connect community changemakers to each other and the ideas and authors of Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Yi is currently the co-chair of the BK Foundation board and an incoming member of the BK Publishers board.
As a lifelong creative and a certified coach, Yi also supports individuals to deepen their connection to their creative source and inner compass. Personal creative time is what fuels Yi’s social innovation and reimagining work, so you will probably find Yi in the studio painting, dancing or making books and always with arts and crafts supplies to share.
Yuko Hasegawa (Advisory Board)
Yuko Hasegawa is Director of the 21st Century Museum of Contemporary Art, Kanazawa (2021 – present) and Professor of Graduate School of Global Arts, Tokyo University of the Arts (2016 – present). She is also Artistic Director of Inujima Art House Project (2011-present).
She has worked on numerous biennale projects, including: The 7th International Moscow Biennale: Clouds⇄Forests (Curator, 2017-2018), Unfamiliar Asia: The Second Beijing Photo Biennial (2015), The 11th Sharjah Art Biennial “Re Emerge – Toward a New Cultural Cartography” (Curator, 2013), The 29th São Paulo Biennial (Co-curator, 2010), The 12th Venice Architecture Biennale (Artistic Advisor, 2010), Venice Biennale 2003, 50th International Exhibition of Art, Japan Pavilion (2003), Shanghai Biennale 2002 (Co-curator, 2002-2003), and The 7th International Istanbul Biennial (Artistic Director, 2001). Upcoming Exhibitions include The 2nd Thailand Biennale (2021), and Sharjapan3: Remain Calm (2021).
I’m Nicky Wilkinson and I’m currently working as the Executive Director of Firetree Philanthropy, based in Singapore. Firetree supports work in Southeast Asia that facilitates more just, equitable and inclusive futures. I have always worked in the non-profit space, principally working in the field of youth leadership and sexual reproductive health rights. I have always had a deep interest in work exploring how to build relationships and trust. So I’m really excited to mutually learn as part of this program.
Paradoxa Collective comprises four Australian contemporary artists: Penelope Aitken, Anna Farago, Siri Hayes and Susan Wirth. Based in the outer north east of Melbourne, Australia, they share an interest in peri-urban landscapes, connecting to the land through practical restoration and regeneration activities combined with site-informed art making. In their art practices they work across a range of media, from photography, textiles, painting, sound and video, and often use natural and found materials to create works that reflect on connections between places and people.