There is a suffocating feeling of dread plaguing the world. The unintended and unexpected consequence of globalistation, multiculturlism, and that premature prediction regarding history’s end. Sociaet is on the brink, and the world feels like it needs turning off and turning off again.
Control. Alternate. Delete. You know it. You’ve used it. You’ve abused it. It is a reboot and an interrupt. It is efficient, effective, and absolutely essential. It cleans the slate without destroying it. It restores things to their default settings. It allows for a fresh start. Whether or not you know you need one.
In our sixth year, The Cooler Lumpur Festival will explore these individual notions of ‘control’, ‘alternate’, and ‘delete’ and what they mean when taken as a whole. When employed as that iconic three fingered salute. We wonder how to redo and remake the world if offered the chance at a reset.
People of all ages from all walks of life are invited to explore the answers in a series of conversations and activities at the festival which include:
1. Screening of ‘Lelaki Komunis Terakhir’ (‘The Last Communist’), a film by Amir Muhammad
A semi-musical documentary road movie based on the life of Chin Peng, the last leader of the banned Communist Party of Malaya. It takes the form of a travelogue through the present-day towns that he lived and operated in, from birth to national independence. Interviews with the current residents are juxtaposed against historical narration. There are also specially-composed songs!
Although initially passed for restricted viewing in Malaysia, it was banned in March 2006 for being a threat to national security. Even more deliciously, Rais Yatim hates it! Long before the 1Malaysia concept was declared, this “smart and witty” (Sight & Sound) work is “as rich as can be” (Variety) – and is a strikingly inclusive portrait of what ‘home’ means.
2. Screening of ‘We Are Animals’, a documentary by Zan Azlee
Journalist and documentary filmmaker, Zan Azlee, spends several weeks in Kutupalong, Bangladesh. It is the world’s largest refugee camp, housing close to a million displaced Rohingya. Through his gonzo style of filming, he catches a glimpse of life in the camp through the residents, assists a group of medical volunteers from Mercy Malaysia there, and even heads to the border and witnesses a group of several hundred Rohingya pleading for refuge who have just crossed the border from Myanmar.
3. Journalism Campus
The Cooler Lumpur Festival returns with Journalism Campus: a series of interactive workshops, panel discussions and talks to get people thinking about the state of today’s media. This year, the topics will range from photojournalism in the age of Instagram, to the issues around Fake News.
Journalism Campus aims to create dialogue and insights into the fast-moving nature of modern journalism. The campus kicks off on Friday 5 Oct and will continue with selected events over the festival weekend.
4. Food Fringe Festival
Feast your eyes (and appetite) at the Food Fringe Festival, where food for thought is served.
Visitors can look forward to the Taste of Sabah. We are always looking for exquisite taste, but what about forgotten recipes from our own cultures? Ropuhan Di Tanak Wagu is a food channel run by Pison Jaujip who has been re-creating forgotten recipes from North Borneo. Fancy sampling dishes such as Linopot, Noonsom Bambangan, Jinaruk Tuhau, and Kinotuan Mirolot Sinapakan Tonsin Sada? Pison will be cooking these delectable dishes at our pop-up kitchen during the food fringe.
The festival will also be championing Malaysian artisanal food makers at The Belly Good Food Market. Expect fresh produce and homemade goods lovingly made from the heart…and let them make their way into your stomachs!
5. Saving Stripes: The Plight of the Malayan Tiger
Latest numbers show that there are only 250 Malayan tigers left in the wild, despite continuous efforts in saving the species. How did we allow the situation to come to this, and what really happened? In this special presentation by Tiger Landscape Lead at WWF-Malaysia Dr. Mark Rayan Darmaraj, we explore the possibility of hitting the reset button on a species dangerously close to extinction.
Mark Rayan Darmaraj has been working for WWF-Malaysia’s Tiger Conservation Programme for the past fourteen years. His particular interests are on the population ecology of large mammals, especially tigers. Mark is the first and only Malaysian to date to hold a PhD. in tiger ecology.
6. Street Smarts: Rebooting Cities
‘Smart city’ is the buzzword du jour, but what exactly is a smart city? It’s not just some castle built in the air – smart cities have been around for at least a decade. How can technology, data, and community come together to improve quality of life? Should we be concerned about privacy, control, and inclusivity of all communities? And the billion dollar question: how can Malaysia get there?
Since 2008 Frans-Anton Vermast MBA is Senior Strategy Advisor for Low Carbon and Connected Urban Planning at Amsterdam Smart City. He is an expert in searching for the opportunities of novel appliances and services that make cities a more habitable place for its citizens to live, work and play pleasantly.
7. Who’s Laughing Now?
It has been universally accepted that all Malaysians are born with R-shaped thorns on our sides: royalty, race, and religion. We have been socialised (except old Chinese uncles in kopitiams) to be afraid of discussing these issues in a public forum. Thanks to the ubiquity of social networks, this led to the emergence and popularity of online comic/gag sites. Aiming for more than just laughs, they have found a way to desensitise us to these ‘sensitive’ topics, unknowingly setting a moral compass for the rest of us.
This panel discussion will be led by stand-up comedian Dr. Jason Leong, with country lead of MGAG Lau Mun Yee and creator of ‘Bro, Don’t Like That Lah Bro’ Ernest Ng.
Other than selected workshops, the festival is free of charge and largely open to participants of all ages from all walks of life.
Details of the festival are as follows:
Day/Date: Monday, 1 October – Sunday, 7 October
Time: 10am – 10pm
Venue: MAPKL @ Publika
The Cooler Lumpur Festival has always been about the future. About providing that vibrant space at which we can have those important (and sometimes difficult) conversations that help explain who we are and, most importantly, where we’re going.