Don’t miss this weekend: The Cooler Lumpur Festival 2016

Don’t miss this weekend: The Cooler Lumpur Festival 2016

A celebration of culture and ideas

Text: Su Fen Tan

The festival of ideas returns for its fourth consecutive year this weekend @ Publika

This year, The Cooler Lumpur Festival will run on the theme RE: Independence—a collective probe into the concept of independence, the programmes will reexamine what it really means for a person, people and a nation to be truly independent. A collaborative effort between PopDigital, British Council Malaysia and BMW Group Malaysia, the multidisciplinary festival will feature workshops, lectures and panel discussions, as well as screenings of special selections from the BMW Shorties Short Film archives. A number of speakers from abroad will also be participating at the event.


"Amongst the concepts we find intriguing is the paradox of technology - it automates so many of our daily tasks so we can free up our minds for other things, but most of us urban dwellers are also slaves to our mobile devices. In a simple example, we have social media deciding what we should see on our feeds, navigation apps to tell us which route to take, and soon enough we won't even need to drive ourselves anymore," said Hardesh Singh, co-founder and executive director of The Cooler Lumpur Festival. "This leads us to wonder - if we cannot function without technology, does this mean we can never truly be independent? Or will these technologies allow us to in fact be independent in mind and spirit?"


So if you're up for though-provoking discussions and interesting talks, Publika is the place to be this weekend. Here are some of the programme highlights:

RE: Imagining Independence

What does independence mean to you? Tell Cooler Lumpur on Twitter (@coolerlumpur) and hashtag #coolerdoodlers, the Band of Doodlers (BOD) will turn your tweet into life-sized art at The Cooler Lumpur Festival.


RE: Journalism in Service of Democracy
John Dinges
Moderator: Sharaad Kuttan

Join journalists Sharaad Kuttan and John Dinges as they navigate the complexities of their profession and go in depth on the one question that is highly relevant in our national discourse: What does it take to make democracy work and what should be asked of the press?


RE: English, Singlish, Manglish
Cheryl Tan, Chuah Guat Eng, Kate Bassett
Moderator: Fuad Rahmat

Fuad Rahmat speaks to Cheryl Tan (SG), Chuah Guat Eng (MY) and Kate Bassett (UK) on the English language, discussing its uses and abuses, and how the universal language has spawned a thousand different versions - including Singlish and Manglish.


RE: The "Art" of the Biography
Cheeming Boey, Evangeline Neo, Sonny Liew
Moderator: Umapagan Ampikaipakan

Sit in on a conversation between Umapagan Ampikaipakan and three of South East Asia's best graphic storytellers as they talk about their stories and everything that take place in between.


Bump in the Night

A popular segment of the festival, Bump in the Night returns to spook and excite audiences with horror stories told by some of the best voices from Malaysia. This year's readers are Melizarani T. Selva and the Whitmans (Jen and Nat).


Telling Your Story Through Food
A workshop by Cheryl Tan

The author of the critically acclaimed food memoir A Tiger in the Kitchen will discuss her work as a construct. Cheryl will talk about telling powerful stories using the lens of food, and how to go about creating and working with this narrative. 


The Cooler Lumpur Festival will take place on 10 and 11 September 2016 at Publika, Solaris Dutamas. Head to their Facebook page for more information.