Thursday 19 June 2014

#FAST @ Cooler Lumpur

The Cooler Lumper Festival of ideas kicks off tomorrow, in KL.

This year, the theme, #FAST, looks to the future, and the fastest way to get there. What will the future be like? What innovations in thought will shape Malaysian society, as well as societies elsewhere? What will education mean? How will the arts develop? What are the big ideas that will most shape our lives in the coming decades?

The Literary Director, author Umapagan Ampikaipakan, here talks about selected highlights of the literature programme he and his team have put together.

Opening Keynote: “F*** Censorship” by Miguel Syjuco
Friday, 20 June 2014
8.30 pm - 9.30 pm
Black Box, MAP @ Publika

I’m particularly excited about the opening keynote. First of all, I am a huge fan of Miguel’s work as a writer. His debut novel, Illustrado, was symbolic of what I felt to be a new literary voice in Asia. Confident. Self-deprecating. Unflinchingly honest. Furthermore, the topic of censorship has never been more relevant, not just to Malaysian society, but to all of us in the developing world. And one can never overstate the necessity (and difficulty) of speaking truth to power - especially through literature and art - in all those places where censorship is rife.

The Modern Malay Tongue
Saturday, 21 June 2014
12.30 pm - 1.30 pm
Black Box, MAP @ Publika

There is very little discourse with regards to the evolution of the national language in Malaysia. Given how institutionalised Bahasa Malaysia is, I wanted to have a discussion involving three generations of Malay language authors and speak to them about how they see the language progressing. 

Lost and Found in Translation
Sunday, 22 June 2014
11.00 am - 12.00 pm
Upstairs @ Ben's

I had this random notion that translation could be a key to national unity and community building. That the biggest hurdle we face as a multi-racial, multi-cultural, multi-religious society is that constant quest for understanding between one another. That’s where translation comes in. How better to understand your brother than to delve into his mind and soul? And what easier way to do that than through his words and through his art? So what role does translation play in helping us better understand ourselves and those around us?

Nay Phone Latt in conversation with Sharaad Kuttan
Sunday, 22 June 2014
4.30 pm - 5.30 pm
Upstairs @ Ben's

What is more current than a one-on-one with Burmese blogger, political activist, and prisoner of conscience Nay Phone Latt? His situation parallels many across the developing world and it will be fascinating to hear his views on what it means now that Burma has come out the other side.

WORKSHOP: So, You Wanna Be A Storyteller? by Kamini Ramachandran
Saturday, 21 June 2014
11.00 am - 2.00 pm
Interpr8 Art Space, Publika

I believe that the benefits of storytelling skills extend beyond mere entertainment value. I think a good storyteller makes for a better doctor, a better lawyer, heck, a better accountant. I think that the ability to tell a good story, the ability to communicate an idea with prowess, is something every Malaysian could be better at. And what’s more, it is a skill that can be taught, and one that can be learned.

#FAST Junior

Our literary programme for the young ones is also something we’re proud of.  Inculcating a reading culture must start from a young age. Parents need to read to their children. They need to expose them to stories. They need to encourage their kids to develop a love for literature and the vast world of ideas contained within them. Start them young. Get them hooked. And you’ll breed a new generation of thinkers.

If you can’t make it to KL to join in the Festival in person, follow along on the Facebook page: click here. Full information about the programme, venues, and ticketing is available at the Festival website: click here.

#FAST is co-hosted by creative media shop PopDigital and the British Council, Malaysia.