Investigating Circulations: The Folly of [Art] Bottom-lines and Number-crunching

By Eileen Legaspi-Ramirez The relatively cent ruckus over how the latest Social Weather Station (SWS) figures indicate that Filipinos still feel far from jubilant – even as the Arroyo government trumpets the peso’s gaining on the dollar alongside the country’s rosy credit upgrade – merely underscores how numbers are as much abstractions of the truth […]

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 […]

Sarong Party Beruk

By Hishamuddin Rais Kehidupan dunia moden semakin mengasak kita. Mata kita akan terus dikelilingi oleh imej, gambar, ikon, logo atau papan-papan tanda. Kota-kota kita berselirat dengan papan tanda dan papan iklan. Ada pelbagai imej yang terpaksa kita hadapi. Ada papan iklan yang didirikan sehinggakan anak mata kita tidak dapat mengelak melainkan memandang atau membaca iklan […]

Yang Berat Dan Yang Hitam

By Hishamuddin Rais Tahun 2005 berakhir dengan nota yang kurang menyenangkan. Apa yang saya maksudkan ini bukan kerana kegagalan bursa saham melonjak tetapi penangkapan hampir 500 anak-anak muda yang sedang merayakan pesta tahun baru di sebuah kelab muzik – Paul’s Place – di Jalan Klang Lama. Mereka dikatakan sebagai penganut/peminat muzik genre Black Metal. Saya […]

Spongy Minds

By Yeah Jin Leng In the last 20 years, this country has seen the rise in the number of art galleries as well as the number of private art institutions. There are many venues provided for art exhibitions, even in hotels and political institutions. To certain people, this augers well as it gives an indication […]

Trust Me

By Ray Langenbach (Ir)reversible Déjà vu I used to spend weekend mornings in Singapore with a friend, Lee Weng Choy, watching formulaic Hollywood flicks. Seeing the same actors appear in film after film left us with an eerie sense of déjà vu. One day following two hours of the usual fare, we devised a game. […]

Unsur-unsur Seram dan Semiotik

By Isham Rais Menonton filem ini seperti membaca buku. Kita perlu mengetahui nahu dan hukum-hukum filem untuk menikmati bentuk seni ini dengan lebih mendalam. Dalam masa yang sama tanpa mengetahui hukum dan nahu­nahu filem kita juga boleh menjadi penonton dan membaca apa yang sanggup kita lihat dan dapat difahami. Malah rasa saya inilah cara terbanyak […]

The Blistering Whoosh of Oblivion

By Dr. Zakaria Ali Artifacts are old things, often kept in the museums, cataloged, analyzed, debated, regularly served to illustrate the impact of styles in art history treatises, promote divergent viewpoints in archeological reports. George Kubler insists that artifacts and works of arts are included in the history of things, in which a series of […]

Of Space and 17,000 Islands

By Goenawan Mohamad “…a girdle of emeralds on the equator” – Multatuli (1820-1887) A metaphor may beguile, even as it misleads. Multatuli’s depiction of this archipelago – yet to be called “Indonesia” – was repeatedly quoted by various leaders of the nationalist movement early in the 20th century. But a figure of speech is a […]

Mat Salleh and the Temple of Brown

By Benjamin McKay Getting Lost You may recall that two weeks ago I had the pleasure of reviewing Professor Madya A. Razak Mohaideen’s Lady Boss for Kakiseni. This week I wish to share with readers the tale that surrounds my eventually seeing that film. It is a tale of how I began to at last […]

The Battle for Time and Space in Malaysia’s Narrowing Society

By Farish A. Noor ‘Power’ is not, and should not, be understood in a purely abstract sense. For ‘Power’ to manifest itself, it needs to be expressed in visible, even spectacular forms. Throughout humanity’s history, political power has been expressed through such spectacular excess: from public punishments to the visible cult of leadership embodied in […]

The Immortals

By Jeremy Mahadevan When wandering through the labyrinthine extents of ancient monuments, wonders of the world and so on, one doesn’t expect to come across bulletholes. But Angkor Wat is studded with many such reminders of the violence that has engulfed its surroundings. In the light of an early December morning, thrown up from behind […]

Filem Tempang ke Rotterdam

By Amir Muhammad Filem Independen lstilah ‘Filem independen’ diwujudkan di Amerika pada tahun 1980an untuk merujuk kepada filem yang tidak diusahakan atau ditaja oleh mana-mana studio besar di negara itu. Kemudian nama-nama seperti Spike Lee, Steven Soderbergh, Quentin Tarantino dan Michael Moore mula menjadi sebutan. Tapi sebelum istilah itu wujudpun, terdapat beberapa pembikin filem seperti […]

Mud and Makan

By Lucy Friedland Last month I was hanging out at Kafe Lidiana, one of my favorite nasi melayu stalls in Penang, after a lavish lunch of kari ikan, sayur manis and all the trimmings. With a start, I suddenly remembered it was Thanksgiving Day in the United States, one of the few holidays that my […]

Of Hope, Faith, and Frailty

By Goenawan Mohamad At the calendar’s last page lies our primary question: is hope ever possible? Each December we surmise and make plan. We ask: Will 2005 be a dismal year? Will growth exceed 5 percent? Will there be new acts of terror? Statistics and astrology provide responses ready with possible faults. Each prognosis is […]

The Age of Disposable Cool

By Pete Teo Some midget in dark-rimmed glasses trotted up to me one day. “Hey Pete,” she growled. “You’re so uncool.” Huh? Whatever did she mean? I’ve read ‘Karl Marx For Dummies’. Twice. If that’s not cool, what is? “Dump that shitty music you do and get with us avant-gardes. We’re radical and cool.” “What? […]

What’s with Malays and Cats?

By Alfian Sa’at In the 80’s and early 90’s, both Malay as well as English programmes were screened on what was then known as Channel 5, and Mandarin and Tamil programmes on Channel 8. This was before both the Malay and Tamil programmes were later relocated to the channel Prime 12 in 1995. These media […]

Nakhoda Tergoda

By Hasmi Hashim Katakanlah, pameran Bakat Muda Sezaman, macam nyanyian merdu dewi laut itu. Kerana tidak mahu tergoda, demi cinta Penelope, Ulysses mengarahkan kelasinya, mengikat dia ke tiang agung. Nyanyian merdu dewi laut akan terus memerangkap setiap kapal yang lalu, dan kepada nakhoda yang tergoda akan lekas-lekas pula mengembangkan layar menuju ke arah suara. Akhirnya […]

Mitos Peribumi Alim

By MR Al-Mustaqeem Dan berkatalah salah seorang (intelektual?) negara kita, bahawa siapa sahaja yang mempertikaikan Dasar Kebudayaan Kebangsaan (DKK) 1971, hasil resolusi yang dibawa dalam Kongres Kebudayaan Kebangsaan yang diadakan pada tahun yang sama, boleh dipertikaikan kesetiaannya sebagai warganegara. Yang Zainal Kling ceriterakan lagi, dalam wawancara dengannya di ruangan sastera, Berita Harian, 26 Oktober lalu, […]

Tetek Besar, Pantat Lebar

By Khalid Jaafar Sebelum diterbitkan di Beijing, penerbit Mo Yan, penulis novel Red Sorghum yang difilemkan dengan arahan Zhang Yimou dan lakunan Gong Li, membuat publisiti untuk novel terbaharunya. Media riuh dan pengkritik naik rebut. Mengapa tajuknya begitu celupar, atau mencarut? Kemudian suara-suara lantang muncul menuntut Mo Yan menukar tajuk novel terbaharunya. Mo Yan enggan. […]

Bukan Budaya Kita

By Kathy Rowland “Bukan budaya kita.” It’s a phrase that crops up in the oddest of places. A municipal newsletter denouncing satire, a political speech vilifying men and women singing on stage together, a police officer dumping the rising crime rate on immigrants. With so many people telling us what our culture is not, one […]

Moraliti Fantasia

By MR Al-Mustaqeem Bukan untuk siapa saja, rasa meluat dan menyampah tengok Akademi Fantasia. Banyak hal yang menjengkel dan meloyakan seperti adegan sedih dan “tarik beg” di akhir tiap konsert; laga-melaga atau ganding­ mengganding antara seorang peserta wanita dengan peserta lelaki yang lain; peserta tak berbakat dan pi’il mengada-ngada yang dapat dilihat dalam Diari AF; […]

Crawling Toward 2020

By Kam Raslan “My dynamite will sooner lead to peace than a thousand world conventions. As soon as men will find that in one instant, whole armies can be utterly destroyed, they surely will abide by golden peace.” – Alfred Nobel It didn’t quite turn out that way. The Nobel Centennial Exhibition was just over […]

Dari Kamar Cinta ke Medan Perang

By Khalid Jaafar Nah, akhirnya kita menyaksikan Troy dengan Brad Pitt sebagai Achilles. Puas hati? Saya mendengar ada yang mengatakan boleh tahan, tetapi ada juga yang terus terang kecewa. Kepuasan sebenarnya tidak mungkin dicapai dalam filem. Saya katakan mustahil. Ujiannya mudah. Mahukah anda melihat Troy sebanyak dua kali? Mungkin. Tetapi kali kedua, ketiga dan keempat? […]

The Public Ineffectual

By Rey Buono Rey Buono has taught theatre for over 30 years in USA and Singapore, and presently in Malaysia. He had co-directed The Merchant of Venice with Jo Kukathas, and directed Gross Indecency and The Baltimore Waltz (which was also censored in parts by DBKL) for The Instant Café Theatre. In this article, first […]

Making Bahasa Indonesia Sexy

By Amir Muhammad We’ve all heard the joke about the Polish starlet who went to Hollywood and tried to get ahead by sleeping with a screenwriter. It’s no longer PC to identify a whole nationality with dumbness, but the underlying point about the essential powerlessness of the man or woman who writes for the screen […]

Highlight This In Orange!

By Toni Kasim If you haven’t kept up with the brouhaha over Five Arts Centre’s permit to stage Election Day, do read Pang Khee Teik’s write-up Dealing with DBKL. Election Day, written by Huzir Sulaiman, directed by Krishen Jit, and performed solely by Jo Kukathas, eventually made it to opening night. It is due to […]

Whither Local Theatre?

By Jit Murad Dear Kakisenians, It has made me want to simply give up. After all these years of working and playing in our little patch of local theatre, I’m stunned to be witnessing a concerted, if predictable, effort by City Hall and its PuppetMasters, to: a) Wrest control of, b) Neutralize, c) Kill, d) […]

A Method To The Madness (or Be-Kind-To-Robots Week In KL)

By Antares “Pappa TARAHUMARA productions try to liberate themselves from ‘meaning,’ leaving members of the audience free to control their own imaginations.” (from the programme notes) About 20 years ago I toyed with the idea of scripting and directing a paralingual movement theatre piece to be called “Faulty Robots” – wherein our mundane activities and […]