Dear ESEA Colleagues in British theatre, film and television

We’d like to ask for a moment of your time this Lunar New Year to celebrate the past few years with us. 2018 and 2019 were banner years for East and South East Asian artists appearing at the National, The Royal Court, Hampstead Theatre, and many other major venues. In 2019 and 2020, more ESEA actors appeared on the British screen than ever before.

So what are our dreams as we look beyond the pandemic?

We want to build on our achievements and help shape a better industry, to be more inclusive, more transparent, more accessible. We want to empower all the members of the ESEA community in our industry to feel safe and emboldened, to speak, disagree, and organise, without fear or favour. We want a community that is proudly anti-racist, and also anti-misogynist, anti-transphobic, anti-homophobic, and anti-xenophobic.

To that end, we are launching “East By SouthEast” (ExSE).

ExSE is a creative community for East and South East Asians in British theatre, film, and television.

Our aims are:

To publicise and celebrate the achievements of the ESEA community in British theatre, film, and television.
To work positively and constructively with the industry for better ESEA opportunities and representation.
To build a safe, open community where we can collaborate, share resources, and support each other.

You are invited to follow us on our social media channels for latest news and updates on our activities:

Instagram: @weareexse
Twitter: @weareexse

This is an open invitation to join ExSE. What do you want to see ExSE do?

We as a community are a force to be reckoned with. Through campaigning, education and activism, we have managed to shift the wider industry conversation about casting, representation, and cultural appropriation. We are optimistic that open and honest conversations in democratic spaces will sustain the further flourishing of our community.

Happy Lunar New Year! Or, to be more literal from the Chinese: Hope you get rich! (™ Ronnie Chieng)

Much love,