Independent Filmmaking across Borders in Contemporary Asia examines an array of auteur-driven fiction and documentary independent film projects that have emerged since the turn of the millennium from East and Southeast Asia, a strand of transnational filmmaking that converges with Asia’s vibrant yet unevenly developed independent film movements amidst global neoliberalism. These projects bear witness to and are shaped by the ongoing historical processes of inter-Asia interaction characterized by geopolitical realignment, migration, and population displacement. This study threads together case studies of internationally acclaimed filmmakers, artists, and collectives such as Zhang Lu, Kuzoku, Li Ying, Takamine Go, Yamashiro Chikako, and Midi Z, all of whose transborder journeys and cinematic imaginations disrupt static identity affiliations built upon national, ethnic, or cultural differences. This border-crossing filmmaking can be viewed as both an aesthetic practice and a political act, reframing how people, places, and their interconnections can be perceived — thereby opening up possibilities to reimagine Asia and its connections to globalization.
Money and Moralities in Contemporary Asia provides original, nuanced insights into social meanings of money and wealth in moral economies of Asia. Through case studies from South and Southeast Asia, the collection sheds important light on how the new mobilities and wealth created by neoliberal globalization transform people’s ways of life, notions of personhood, and their meaning making of the world. It highlights the moral dilemmas and anxieties emerging from the profound socio-economic transformations that are taking place across the region and deepens our understanding of local cultures as well as the inner contradictions of global capital in Asian contexts. With rich ethnographic insights and a diverse range of empirical contexts, chapters in this volume reveal multifaceted complexities and contradictions in the relationship between money and moralities. Money, they affirm, is not an impersonal, objective economic instrument with homogenizing powers but a culturally constructed and socially mediated currency in which meanings are constantly contested and re-negotiated across time and space.