Obituary: Lorraine Lim, Lecturer in Arts Management

(written by Sophie Hope, Justin Schlosberg and Simone Wesner, Department of Film, Media and Cultural Studies)

Lorraine Lim, an inspirational Lecturer in Arts Management in the Department of Film, Media and Cultural Studies since 2010, died in September 2017 aged 37, following complications from cancer.

As a young scholar she had quickly established herself as an internationally respected cultural policy researcher with truly global aspirations, promoting intercultural exchange and creative justice.

Born and raised in Singapore, she went on to study Creative Arts at the University of Melbourne before completing her education with an MPhil in Dramaturgy from the University of Glasgow and a PhD in Cultural Policy from the University of Warwick in 2009. At the same time, she worked as an arts reviewer in Singapore and stage manager for performances at the International Fringe Festivals in Adelaide and Melbourne. Having secured an early career fellowship with the Warwick's Institute for Advanced Study in 2009, she then joined the arts management team at Birkbeck in 2010. She was the leading force in establishing a Foundation degree in Arts and Media Management and taught Cultural Policy and Arts Management from foundation to PhD level. She was a gifted scholar and educator and her students knew her as a passionate, fair and hard-working tutor, who would encourage academic potential with humorous rigour.

Early on, with her doctoral research in the global field of Cultural Production, she investigated the aspirations of her birthplace Singapore as an international player in the Arts. Subsequently, her interest in cultural flows in inter-Asian cultural productions, as well as her exploration of variations in understanding creativity between Europe and South East Asia, gained attention in numerous publications: for example, in a collection on Cultural Policies in East Asia (2014) and the forthcoming Asian Cultural Flows (2018).

She excelled in bringing people together, developing projects and successfully applying for grants. Her tireless dedication to work allowed her to challenge employment conditions for graduates in the creative sector by developing curricula that prepare and equip students with the necessary skills and knowledge.

Lorraine helped to create and implement a paid internship policy at Department level that raised awareness of this issue for the wider creative sector internationally.

Lorraine enjoyed arts and culture in the broadest sense, exploring new playwrights with the same enthusiasm as she visited Harry Potter film sets, taking friends and colleagues along. She was on the waiting list for the Wagner Festival in Bayreuth and partied through Eurovision every year. She was energetic and caring, and we all appreciated her no-nonsense approach to living life at a fast pace. Her research will go on to be read by students and professionals for years to come but we will forever miss her sharp wit and wisdom in all she did.