MY Arts Memory addresses this problem through a process of research, collection, digitalization and public access:
- We conduct research into arts practice against a wider historical, political and social context
- We collect production ephemera, articles and other documents
- We ‘collect’ memories and knowledge from individuals through recorded interviews
- We digitalize the material collected, preserving archival documents and historically significant voices
- We upload the information, creating a rich archive that is accessible to anyone
We are plagued by absences and institutional amnesia. Without a sense of the past, we are unable to chart a path forward.
There is not a single institution that archives and documents the performing arts history of the country in a comprehensive way. The struggles, philosophies and conflicts, which drove the growth of Malaysian performing arts in its early years are held in the individual memories of art makers. Too often, they are irrevocably lost before they can be recorded.
Artists, programmers, producers, researchers and audiences, few of us have a real sense of the performing arts history of our nation. MY Arts Memory Project provides the raw material, data and critical resources to help us understand the trajectories of development, the competing artistic movements, the experiments of form and the thematic concerns of the practitioners.
Our activities include on-line and off-line projects:
Remember When … is an Oral History Project, comprising a series of one-on-one conversations with pioneering Malaysian theatre practitioners, conducted before a ‘live’ audience. With each voice we hope to capture a reflective, complex and highly personal history of the local stage. The recordings of these conversations will be uploaded as podcasts on MY Arts Memory.
Projected to begin in the second half of 2017.
Programme Archive contains archival images, production information and other significant details of staged works. For the Pilot Project, launched in 2016, we have focused on archiving theatre programs from the 1970s – 1990s only.
Other performing arts genres and content will follow. This is an ongoing documentation and research project.
We acknowledge that many works are multidisciplinary in nature, particularly productions staged from the early 1990s. The conventional division of genres here offers a way to manage the collection and uploading of material. A system of tags will identify works that cross these boundaries.
Article Archive contains scans of actual articles, essays, reviews and interviews.
Censorship Archive is an ongoing chronological list of verified arts censorship in Malaysia, including detailed incident reports, to record and monitor the frequency and shape of arts censorship.