A piece by Nelson Lim
When the more widely publicized launches, concerts, raves, etc., featuring internationally known public figures become overwhelmingly out-of-reach, perhaps it is time to embrace your artistic side instead!
Here are four locally accessible events to attempt in hopes of experiencing the Malaysian arts and culture community.
Screenings by Kelab Seni Filem Malaysia at Content Malaysia Pitching Centre
Films screened (almost) every week at the Content Malaysia Pitching Centre (CMPC) in Platinum Sentral feature a carefully curated variety of the award-winning (both contemporary and past) domestic and international.
Because the screenings are organized by the Kelab Seni Filem Malaysia, the small auditorium is often filled with its club members, in addition to film academics, and those from the local film industry itself. Entry is free.
Doors open as early as 7.30pm, and screenings begin at 8.30pm sharp before an introduction to the film is screened. The screenings sometimes feature attendance from the film’s respective cast and/or production members, especially when a contemporary Malaysian film is screened in the forum session that follows.
Depending on the length of the movie screened and its following forum session, attendees often mingle after up ‘till the final minutes before midnight. An event page will be posted up on Facebook approximately a week before each screening, allowing attendees to plan schedules beforehand. CMPC itself is approximately a 10-minute walk from KL Sentral, allowing anyone from various distances to spend the Friday evening with like-minded film enthusiasts.
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/kelabsenifilemmalaysia
Readings at Seksan
As the name of the event implies, Readings is a monthly reading session by local and aspiring writers. Content presented and/or read during the session could be working manuscripts, or already published works. Every reading session begins at 3.30pm, on the last Saturday of every month at the Seksan Gallery in Bangsar, and would usually feature a line-up of writers.
Organizers of the event, Bernice Chauly and Sharon Bakar themselves are actively involved in writing, editing, publishing, and organizing the annual Georgetown Literary Festival.
Content presented during the reading session has been curated and published into Readings, and Readings 2. Admission is free, and an event page will be created on Facebook prior to the monthly session itself. The reading session serves as a conducive platform for both existing and aspiring writers to mingle and exchange ideas within the small and intimate writing community in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur. Those looking to make a career in writing are more than encouraged to at least attend the event once to experience the local literary scene.
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/groups/ReadingsKL
Arts for Grabs
Arts for Grabs is one of the more popular arts and entertainment installments in Kuala Lumpur in comparison to the aforementioned events. From the event’s humble beginnings at Annexe Gallery in Pasar Seni, Arts for Grabs has been held at Publika Shopping Gallery in Solaris Dutamas, KL for a few years now. Since the event’s inception at Publika, Arts for Grabs has been able to accommodate bigger crowds within the mall’s larger space and/or setup, attracting the casual shoppers to drop by the various vendors and booths.
Held four times a year on the weekend, Arts for Grabs usually features a bazaar of creative Malaysians selling arts, crafts and books, alongside appearances from domestic-based international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) (i.e. Amnesty International, Seksualiti Merdeka, and Sisters in Islam). Book launches, forums, film screenings, and/or performances are also hosted within Arts for Grabs itself with no admission fee required.
Arts for Grabs aims to actively create a space for generating, sharing, exchanging, and promoting the arts, ideas, discourses, and/or activism. Due to the nature of the event, one is more than likely to meet local socio-political activists and members from the Malaysian arts community such as Pang Khee Teik, Fahmi Reza and Amir Muhammad.
Ex-Malaysian Prime Minister, Dr. M himself made an appearance at the Arts for Grabs last June for a book launch. The next Arts for Grabs will be held in The School, Jaya One, Petaling Jaya on September 24 and 25.
Facebook : https://www.facebook.com/artforgrabs
It’s even better that all of these are free of charge and easily accessible for the average student to explore his/her creative side through immersing with the local arts community.