Southeast Asia’s first and only festival of ideas The Cooler Lumpur Festival returns for its seventh year from 30 September to 6 October 2019 at its home ground Publika. This year, the festival takes on a theme that aims to celebrate those amongst us who do their part in combating the major concerns of our time – recognising these everyday heroes as #SuperCanggih.
“This year, we hope to explore and highlight the issues we face by way of SuperCanggih which will truly recognise those who stretch our chances of reversing climate change, gender equality, poverty, and the list goes on – in hopes to inspire others to start their own journey. Together with our partners, we will nose dive into the cynical world we live in today, and unearth and celebrate those who dare to take on the world’s cynicism to make the world a better place,” said The Cooler Lumpur Festival Co-Founder and Executive Creative Director, Hardesh Singh.
The Cooler Lumpur Festival (TCLF) will offer a myriad of activities structured around five key pillars:
- With a strong learning culture, guests will be able to “Learn” from the various panels, discussions and workshops that will take place, including Nite sCool, a series of evening classes that feature skills-based sessions, which makes its return for the second year running.
- A collaboration with Me.reka will see hands-on workshops co-hosted by the Me.reka team, giving guests the opportunity to “Make” something out of repurposed materials.
- Ignition Lab and Me.reka joins forces on a community project to “Build” furniture from used wooden pallets that will be custom made and go towards two foster homes in the Klang Valley.
- Happenings in the Publika Gallery area will be available for purchase which provides the opportunity for guests and passers-by to “Shop” consciously – from KLAB’s alternative book publisher’s pop-up market, a ‘Tune Protect EasyMart’, a Biji-Biji Initiative pop-up and back by popular demand: The Belly Good Food Market.
- Not forgetting the younger ones, kids and teens will also get to engage in “Play” by immersing themselves in various play-and-learn educational activities.
The festival this year will be a collaborative effort between creative media shop PopDigital and various partners including Tune Protect Group Berhad, Goethe-Institut Malaysia, PIXERF, citizenM, British Council, Japan Foundation Kuala Lumpur, C27 and New Naratif.
“We’re honoured to be part of The Cooler Lumpur Festival this year for the first time ever. As a festival that transcends all demographics, cultures and the like, we believe that by working hand-in-hand, we can spotlight a festival that ignites conversations and provokes our thoughts. An added bonus is that Malaysia can be spotlighted as an attractive destination thanks to this unique festival. We’re excited to be bringing the travel conversation to this year’s TCLF in hopes of inspiring and understanding the needs of consumers when it comes to travel protection in this day and age and other consumer lifestyle offerings through our Tune Protect EasyMart, a convenience store activation and travel videography workshop,” said Khoo Ai Lin, Chief Executive Officer of Tune Protect Group Berhad.
“Coming on board with TCLF family was a no brainer given our involvement in past instalments. This year, we take it one step further as we partner with The Science Film Festival (SFF) to celebrate science communication by promoting science literacy and facilitating awareness of contemporary scientific, technological and environmental issues through international films with accompanying education activities. We’re especially excited to be launching the Malaysian chapter at this year’s festival featuring children from schools around Klang Valley and is endorsed by the Ministry of Education,” said Rolf Stehle, Director of Goethe-Institut Malaysia. In addition to the SFF, Goethe-Institut Malaysia also formed a three-way partnership with the festival and Ecocentric Transitions to run a Science Pop-Up. “We’re elated to be part of this year’s festival and partner with such prolific platforms on the Science Pop-Up. It will feature educational activations that incorporate game play and eco-consciousness, from edible insects, the carbon cycle game and Malaysian animals through RIMBA The Card Game, a game we created and are incredibly proud of,” said Firdaus Nisha, Co-Founder of Ecocentric Transitions.
To add on to all the exciting partners jumping on board, PIXERF, a global visual community and marketplace for authentic Asian content, will be holding a photo exhibition featuring the works of four of Asia’s most inspiring visual creators. Dubbed “Definers”, they are more than photographers or artists, but advocates for urgent causes and trailblazers that provoke global audiences to see things differently. “As a global visual community and marketplace, storytelling through visuals is ingrained in our brand DNA. Partnering with TCLF and their theme this year, which focuses on issues important to all citizens of the world, it felt like a natural fit for us as we look to communicate and articulate our ideas and stories through visual storytelling. We’re proud to be showcasing the works of these talented photographers at this year’s festival as we create a platform for them to translate their convictions into a visual story,” said Sa’at Ismail, Chief Executive Officer of PIXERF.
citizenM Kuala Lumpur has come on board as the festival’s official hotel. “Smart lifestyle is at the core of our brand ethos, and we are honoured to be given this opportunity to make our mark in Kuala Lumpur with TCLF. As a live extension of the photo exhibition courtesy of Pixerf, we will be hosting a photo walk through downtown Kuala Lumpur that the public can sign up for which will be led by the four photographers,” said Toni Hinterstoisser, Vice President Asia of citizenM Hotels.
The British Council’s long-standing partnership invites UK sustainable fashion designer Eliza Collin whose work involves applying sustainable models to her designs, as well as a not-so-typical arts and crafts showcase in partnership with Institut Kraf Negara (IKN), which highlights how craft is cool. Guests can expect a wealth of local craft heritage items made by IKN students, from intricate weaving to bespoke furniture pieces. Sarah Deverall, Director Malaysia British Council adds “We are incredibly proud of our long-standing partnership with The Cooler Lumpur Festival since 2013. Our work in arts creates new relationships between artists, organisations and audiences to develop stronger creative sectors around the world. We help artists to break new ground, support creativity and innovation, increase capacity by building skills to support livelihoods and cultural enterprise, extend safe spaces for creative exchange and contribute to research and policy. The British Council is proud to continue showcasing and bringing in the very best UK talent and forward-thinking minds to contribute towards the development of challenging ideas and creative thought processes here in Malaysia.”
As a multidisciplinary festival that is intended to appeal to both local and international communities, the festival successfully secured a grant from the Asia Centre, Japan Foundation. In view of this, the festival will play host to Japanese editor, writer and programmer Isana Kashiwai, whose web applications have been used by NASA and JAXA to name a few.
In support of the festival’s paper-less ambitions, the festival brought on board digital enablement agency C27 as this year’s digital partner for app and digital support. As the festival takes place in various areas in and around Publika, guests can manoeuvre one’s way around the festival grounds with the help of an app that will include a map of all the festival happenings.
Having made its presence in TCLF since its inception, the Journalism Campus is back and this time with a co-presenter – New Naratif. Journalism Campus will play host to visiting journalists to interface with local journalists and journalism students. Some of the key speakers include the likes of Star Media Group’s Chief Executive Officer, Andreas Vogiazitkis; former Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC) Chairman, Dato’ Sharil Tarmizi; and Malaysikini to further delve into the changing nature of journalism and its role in this digital age.
In true TCLF fashion, no subject is left unexplored, as food will also play a central role during the festival. Guests who are adventurous with their food palates can indulge in an experiential food and storytelling session with the refugee community, courtesy of Picha Eats. Back by popular demand is the Belly Good Food Market which features a market of local food entrepreneurs creating new ideas in food using local artisanal products where one can expect groundbreaking ideas in food products, food entrepreneurship and better living.
Festival attendees will be able to join the week-long fun as the festival features some internationally acclaimed speakers including:
- Eliza Collin (UK) – Sustainable fashion designer whose work revolves around the issues surrounding production in relation to materials and people.
- Isana Kashiwai (Japan) – Web applications and astronomy enthusiast whose apps have been used by NASA, JAXA and ESA (DLR/CNES).
- Tom Potisit (Thailand) – PIXERF ambassador and one of Thailand’s most sought after photographer. He recently orchestrated “Know-R”, a photography exhibition staged on an old rice barge to highlight livelihood of communities along the Chao Phraya River.
- Xyza Cruz Bacani (Philippines) – Hong-Kong based street and documentary photographer whose work raises awareness around under-reported stories. She was awarded the Magnum Foundation Human Right Fellowship in New York and spearheaded a project supported by the Pulitzer Centre on Crisis Reporting to help domestic helpers in Singapore who have run away from abusive employers.
- Isaac Cheng (Hong Kong) – Vice-Chairman of Demosisto, pro-democracy organisation advocating self-determination.
- Devi Asmarani (Indonesia) – Co-founder and Editor-in-Chief of Jakarta-based feminist webmagazine Magdalene.co and recipient of the S.K. Trimurti Award 2018 for her role in the cause of press freedom, freedom of expression, gender equality and the public’s rights to information.
Other than selected workshops, the festival is free of charge and largely open to participants of all ages from all walks of life.