Aiming to be a seed where various community activities and creativity will sprout, Tropical Futures Forum (#TroFuFo) was organized on September 13, 2019 at The Company in Cebu City, Cebu, Philippines by Chris John Fuusner of Tropical Futures Institute and Mark Deutsch of Happy Garaje.
Tagged as a “creative city,” Cebu becomes the starting point of the initiative, which was attended by around 150 local and international designers and artists from Singapore, Tokyo, New York, Manila, and of course, Cebu.
In an exclusive interview with one of the speakers, I was able to speak with Ms. Myka Arnado, a freelance graphic designer and art director. She shared about Create Cebu as a platform of creatives who are open for collaboration to help local artists achieve their goals. The group believes that creative output and economic opportunity can merge for a golden achievement.
When asked how the Cebuanos respond to the creative industry, such as the Cebu Design Week, Cebu Art Fair, Visaya Music Festival, and Binisaya Film Festival, Myka observes that the locales are very supportive. She admitted, however, that creatives should come up with good products to be recognized and the community should have a mindset change toward appreciating local arts and designs.
One of the speakers, Hannah Florendo, an educator and artist, shared about the effect of schooling on arts and how talents can be enhanced out of school. In our exclusive interview, I was able to learn more about how she taught arts to individuals, from toddlers to adults. She confirmed how kids and youths naturally enjoy doing arts, but she emphasized the need to create an environment where they are free of judgment and are not controlled. When it comes to adults (18 to 60 years old), she asserted that they need a more structured atmosphere because they are more goal-oriented and are afraid to commit mistakes.
The other speakers, which I was not able to talk to, are Motoki Koitabashi, Dan Matutina (I was really impressed with his presentation, by the way), Mikiharu Yabe, Dang Sering, Erik Tuban, Roxy Navarro, Chad Manzo, Felix Ng, Karl Lucente, and Coji Katsuyama. With Japanese speakers, the audience really appreciated how they emphasized the significance of community involvement and support for local brands.
In the forum, co-founder Chris John Fuusner tackled about toprical futures, neo tropicality, climate refugees, tropical dystopia, archipelagic infrastructures, eco futurism, tropical collapse, and tropical rave aesthetic.
The event was also supported by the Department of Trade and Industry as they believe that Cebu is a great place to cultivate creativity that can encourage local artists, boost businesses, and generate impact to the community at large.