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Digital Asia Seed Grants

Production support from AEMS to graduates of the Digital Asia Workshop


Grants Awarded
About the Seed Grants
Asia Video Reports Series
2008 Call for Proposals


2008 Digital Asia Seed Grants Awarded

Jeffrey A. Dym
Associate Professor of History, California State University Sacramento
Incorporating Kamishibai (Japanese Paper Plays) into the American Classroom
Awarded $2500

This video will introduce ways to pedagogically incorporate kamishibai (paper plays) into early childhood classrooms in America as a means of teaching visual literacy. Goals of this short video include showing how educational kamishibai is used today by Japanese teachers and American teachers alike, and to convey how easy kamishibai is to perform, that anyone can perform it, and more importantly, how effective a pedagogical tool kamishibai can be.

Kamishibai emerged in Japan in 1930 as a form of children's street entertainment in which a storyteller recounts a tale accompanied by a series of picture cards housed in a stage that are sequentially pulled out. Shortly after kamishibai emerged in the downtrodden sections of Tokyo, a few perceptive individuals recognized its potential as a pedagogical tool and created what came to be known as “educational kamishibai,” as opposed to “street kamishibai.” Educational kamishibai was an integral part of Japanese education throughout the 1950s and 1960s at all levels of schooling (K-12), and later, for early childhood education only. Kamishibai have been used on a limited basis in the United States, with English language versions available from Kamishibai for Kids since the 1990s.


Jennifer Goodlander
Ph.D. Candidate in the Program for Interdisciplinary Arts, Ohio University
The Person Behind The Mask – Topeng Pajegan In Bali
Awarded $2500

Topeng Pajegan is an ancient masked drama performed for both entertainment and as part of religious rituals in Bali. Performed by a single actor, myth and comedy unite in a dynamic form which links the past and present in Bali . The character of Sidhakarya is the most important in topeng . This character appears at the end of ritual topeng to ensure the success of the entire ceremony. Even though women in Bali have begun to perform topeng, the mask of Sidhakarya and the prestigious ritual associations along with it, remain forbidden.

This video project will focus on the character Sidhakarya to introduce the many connections between religious ritual and performance in Bali and the relationship of women within each. It will provide a much needed introduction to topeng for college and high school students while placing the performance within the greater cultural context of Bali and Indonesia and introduce the tensions between tradition and modernity that is vital to understanding the performance.

This short video will provide an introduction to topeng as ritual and entertainment; examine the role of religion and the arts of daily life in Bali; take a closer look at ritual topeng; and through interviews with men and women topeng artists, highlight women performing topeng.

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About Digital Asia Seed Grants

Following the 2008 Digital Asia Workshop, we awarded seed grants to two workshop participants. Intended to seed the video projects originally proposed in application to the Digital Asia Workshop, these awards are to be used towards funding a short, self-contained video up to 15 minutes long, suitable for educational use at the elementary, secondary, and/or undergraduate level(s). Curriculum guides will accompany each video, providing contextual information and teaching recommendations.

When completed in late 2009, these videos and curriculum guides may be distributed as part of the AEMS Asia Video Report series.

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Call for Proposals: Digital Asia Seed Grants 2008

Only participants of the 2008 Digital Asia Workshop are eligible to apply

The Asian Educational Media Service (AEMS) is pleased to offer two (2) grants of $2500 each to participants of the 2008 Digital Asia Workshop at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

These grants are intended to “seed” the video projects originally proposed in application to the Digital Asia Workshop by funding a short, self-contained video which can serve as a promo for the larger video project, to help secure further funding.

Though potentially leading to a much larger product, these short videos should be finished products in themselves, no longer than 5 to 15 minutes, and suitable for educational use, at the elementary, secondary, and/or undergraduate level(s). They are to be accompanied by a curriculum guide providing contextual information and teaching recommendations. AEMS will reserve the option of distributing this video (free online or on DVD at cost) as part of the AEMS Asia Video Report series. This video should be submitted one year from the date of award.

Applications should consist of:

  • A narrative proposing the 5- to 15-minute educational video, including a clear description of the short video, explanation of its pedagogical application, and a brief discussion of how it relates to and serves the larger project originally proposed. (No more than 2 pages)
  • A work plan (including a specific schedule) for completing this video in one year.
  • A simple budget explaining how the grant funds would be used

The entire application should not exceed 4 pages.

If your large video project has changed significantly since your original application in February, please contact Tanya to discuss it prior to applying for this grant.

DEADLINE (PASSED): August 1, 2008. Decisions announced August 15.

The grant will be disbursed in two parts: $1500 at the time of award, and $1000 upon completion of the short video and curriculum guide. The method of disbursement may depend on the circumstances of the grantee.

This funding opportunity is open only to participants of the 2008 Digital Asia Workshop at the University of Illinois (May 16-18, 2008).

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Last Updated: November 26, 2008

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