Tableau of Turbulence: A Reflection on Reporting and Writing About Southeast Asia
Evening presentation by Michael Vatikiotis, author and journalist
Drinks reception 6:30 pm
Presentation 7:00 pm
Close 8:00 pm
Southeast Asia provides a colorful writer’s palette, with its chaotic crush of megacities and their multitude of sounds and smells. These cities are the focal points of societies in transition. They throw together the very rich and the very poor in volatile close proximity, and contrast with the remote margins, where the unruly — and often barely ruled — carry ancient grudges and modern weapons.
Such landscapes appear lush, vibrant and calm; however, a tableau of turbulence hides behind this polite façade of relative stability. Exploring the roiling undercurrents of the region’s society has become a passion for Michael Vatikiotis, former journalist and editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review, who now works as a mediator resolving armed conflict in some of the region’s most turbulent hotspots. Vatikiotis will speak about transition and change in Southeast Asia as seen through the eyes of a writer and peace activist with more than 30 years’ experience in the region.
Michael Vatikiotis has worked for the Bangkok Post and for the BBC World Service, and was the Managing Editor of the Far Eastern Economic Review. He is currently the Asia Regional Director, Centre for Humanitarian Dialogue, based in Singapore. He has written numerous articles for books and journals, and his own books include Indonesian Politics under Suharto; Political Change in Southeast Asia: Trimming the Banyan Tree; Debatable Land: Stories from Southeast Asia; The Spice Garden and, most recently, The Painter of Lost Souls. Michael has a PhD from Oxford University and in 2005 was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Maryland.