Novels for All. Photo: Stacy Liu.
Novels for All, from last year’s Cooler Lumpur Festival. Photo: Stacy Liu.

The Cooler Lumpur Festival is back with three days of talks, workshops and ideas to get you thinking. Themed #Fast, the festival’s events collectively form a cultural survey of the state of the world and how we fit into it. With over 40 events taking place at Publika during 20 – 22 June, we’ve picked a few highlights to look forward to this weekend:

#FAST Talks: Opening keynote by Miguel Syjuco F*** Censorship!

Friday 20 June, 8.30 pm – 9.30 pm, Black Box

Based in Canada with his roots in the Philippines, writer Miguel Syjuco has won several awards for his first novel, Ilustrado, including the Man Asian Literary Prize and the QWF Paragraphe Hugh MacLennan Prize for Fiction. He will be delivering the opening address for the festival, with the cheekily titled “F**** Censorship!” keynote.

Inspector Singh Book Party

Saturday 21 June, 6.30 pm – 8.00 pm, Page 2, Publika

Shamini Flint’s debut into adult fiction was also the birth of an enormously popular fictional character: Inspector Singh. The first in the series, A Curious Indian Cadaver, was released in 2012. Join Shamini for this informal book party to celebrate the latest book, A Calamitous Chinese Killing.

Shamini Flint. Photo: Stacy Liu.
Shamini Flint. Photo: Stacy Liu.

Bump in the Night

Saturday 21 June, 11.59 pm onwards, Black Box

For a spooky night of thrilling tales, join the team of BFM 89.9, The Greatest Hits and Fixi Novo as they collaborate once more to bring you Radio Rasuk LIVE. It will be local horror at its best, written by commissioned authors and read by terrifying storytellers at the stroke of midnight.

Imagining An Asian Superhero for the 21st Century

Sunday 22 June, 12.30 pm – 1.30pm, [email protected]’s

Here’s one for comic book geeks. Western superheroes like Captain America and Spiderman have long captured our adulation. But what of their Asian counterparts? Join Andrew Drillon, Dr Gwee Li Sui and Khai Bahar as they dive into what it takes or means to be an Asian superhero in this century.

The Lost Art of Storytelling

Sunday 22 June, 1.30 pm – 2.30pm, Black Box

Storytelling has always been an inherent part of human communication, with oral tradition strongly embedded into some societies. In this modern age where everything is fast-paced and condensed, has the art of storytelling decline? The panellists include Kamini Ramachandran, Damian Barr and O Thiam Chin with Kam Raslan as moderator.

Kamini Ramachandran. Photo. Kamini.
Kamini Ramachandran. Photo. Kamini Ramachandran.

Readings by UnRepresented KL

Sunday 22 June, 2.00 pm – 4.00pm, [email protected]’s

A writing workshop that was held in collaboration with Poskod.MY has culminated into a series of works comprising poetry, fiction and non-fiction. The participants will be reading their final pieces of “unrepresented” narratives that show glimpses of the often overlooked side of the city.

#FAST Junior: Meet Cheeming Boey

Sunday 22 June, 10.00 am – 11.00 am, White Box

Popularly known for his illustrations on foam cups, Malaysian artist Boey is also the author of autobiographical graphic novel When I Was A Kid and its sequel. He currently has a weekly comic published in local newspaper, The Edge. Meet the illustrator in person at this event, which is part of the #FAST Junior programme.

Boey with his family at his childhood home. Photo: Cheeming Boey.
Boey with his family at his childhood home. Photo: Cheeming Boey.

Risky Business: Investigative Journalism – presented by Poskod Journalism Campus

Saturday 21 June, 2pm – 3pm, Black Box

For the final event in the Poskod Journalism Campus programme, this panel discussion asks what happens when journalists dig too deep in Malaysia – and whether the risk is worth it. Malaysiakini Editor-in-Chief Steven Gan, veteran journalist from The Sun Citizen Nades and Al Jazeera’s senior reporter Chan Tau Chou. Moderated by Ling Low.

Dispensing Stories & Moving Library – presented by The Generalist

Saturday 21 & Sunday 22 June

Try buying a story from a sweet dispenser, or browse books at the Moving Library. These two projects from Singapore will be on display at the Boulevard during the weekend.

Dispensable Stories.
Dispensing Stories. Photo courtesy of The Generalist.

We’re All Beige: New Ideas in Cultural Identity

Saturday 21 June, 5.00 pm – 6.00 pm, Black Box

As we assimilate new ideas from the influx of global content, a question inevitably arises: what of our conventional sense of cultural identity, of self and nationality? The panel will be led by Filipino writer Miguel Syjuco, British writer Adam Foulds and Indonesian writer Eka Kurniawan. Five Arts Centre’s Marion D’Cruz will be moderating.

#FAST Talks: Unrealised

Sunday 22 June, 5.00 pm – 6.00 pm, White Box

What happens to the forgotten ideas, the lost blueprints or the half-finished projects? Curated by Mark Teh, this presentation will feature six speakers of various backgrounds whose ideas did not quite work out the way they planned.

#FAST Films: Early Indies (Part 3) with Q&A

Sunday 22 June, 2pm – 4pm, Fiercer

Curated by Imri Nasution, there will be three screenings of independent Malaysian short films throughout the festival, culminating in this one on Sunday afternoon. The line-up of films is drawn from 2000 – 2005 and features alternative, emerging filmmakers from the time.

Lyn Ong

Find more information on all festival events on the official Cooler Lumpur Festival website and Facebook page. Poskod.MY is an official partner of the festival.