Project Runaway

By Antares M! The Opera, staged at Istana Budaya from Thu 23 Mar to Sun 2 Apr 2006, is arguably the most ambitious and esoteric piece of music theatre ever conceived and produced in Malaysia. I’m awed by Saidah Rastam’s perseverance and stamina, and gratified that after such a protracted incubation, her monumental vision has […]

The Mild Mild West

By Benjamin McKay In a lovely article for the British press, Annie Proulx, the author of the short story that the Oscar-nominated film Brokeback Mountain is based upon, had this to say in an uncharacteristically bitter, but amusingly succinct rant: “We should have known conservative heffalump academy voters would have rather different ideas of what […]

Protocol 101

By Gina Fairley Censorship is a contemporary issue. It is mitigated by a new set of protocols that we are negotiating globally. Goenawan Mohamad’s recent piece on Kakiseni speaks about the recent reactions to Prophet Muhammed’s cartoon representation in the popular press and I raised it recently in relation to biennales. I also discovered, cruising […]

Nomadic Dancers of Kuala Lumpur

By Joseph Gonzales The 2nd National Chinese Cultural Dance Competition organised by the Chinese Language Society of Malacca and Multi-Media University was held at the Taman Budaya Melaka from Fri 10 – Sun 12 Mar 2006. A total of 45 groups, consisting of Chinese Dance associations, secondary schools, cultural clubs and private dance schools, including […]

Mak Yong: A Jihad

By Fahmi Fadzil Royat hilang berita nak timbul Timbul nak royat Seorang Raja sebuah negeri Seorang Raja sebuah menteri… A vow to God In the beginning, there was no such thing as Mak Yong. But there was a family: a father, a mother, a child. They lived in an ordinary kampung house. One day, the […]

Bebas Dari Onani

By Hishamuddin Rais It is easier to dominate someone if they are unaware of being dominated. Colonised and colonisers both know that domination is not just based on physical supremacy. Control of hearts and minds follows military conquest. Which is why any empire that wants to last must capture the souls of its subjects. – […]

Cartoons

By Goenawan Mohamad Puffy face. Heavy eyebrows. Bushy moustache. Black turban inscribed with sacred words in Arabic calligraphy. More interesting still: the turban is complete with wick – it is a bomb. If this picture had been without words, we would not have known that it was a cartoon of the Prophet Muhammed. Yet we […]

Revenge of the Native

By Sharaad Kuttan I must admit that I am rather partial to academic conference even when held on home grounds (which eliminates the “junket” dimension). In my limited experience the academic conference is a site pregnant with possibility – both intellectual and social – limited in large part by the disposition of the participant-observer. This […]