Kakiseni Blog

A foot in the Malaysian arts scene!

#FILEMGIG: The White Balloon at Rumah Titi by Kelab Filem Bangsar (and friends)

Posted on 10 February 2015

Facebook : Kelab Filem Bangsar

Twitter : @k_filembangsar

Facebook : Rumah Titi

Facebook : Dapur Jalanan KL

The casual layout in Rumah Titi (Pic courtesy of Frinjan)

The casual layout in Rumah Titi (Pic by Nadia Alipah)

Jafar Panahi is maybe best known as the Iranian filmmaker who smuggled an illegally recorded film out of his home country in a USB drive hidden inside a cake. This Is Not a Film was shown at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival and won many awards but the story of his career started out a little more simply and involved no baked goods that we know of, with his first feature The White Balloon released in 1995.

I showed up to Kelab Filem Bangsar’s screening of the movie knowing only the title and that they’d be serving food. Rumah Titi’s front drive was turned into a makeshift wayang pacak with some very simple ingredients: a digital projector, a laptop and a white sheet hanging from some branches. We sat on mats, cushions, and plastic stools, some of which were piled high with packets of Kacang Cap Tangan and Mamee Monster. To the side of the screen was a small barbeque pit, emitting smoke and smells of charred chicken throughout the screening. It kept the mosquitoes away, and it smelled delicious. They played parts of a superhero blockbuster as we waited for more people to arrive, like our very own previews. Children played shadow puppets with the projector. The DIY, scuffed-around-the-edges feel fit nicely with the screening of this small and meandering little Iranian film, Panahi’s short film turned full-length debut.

So, the thing about The White Balloon is that it’s not about a balloon at all — it’s about a fish. Specifically a fat goldfish seven-year-old Razieh wants more than anything in the world, to celebrate the Iranian New Year. Her mother tells her that they have perfectly serviceable goldfish in their pond, that there’s no money for a new one, that she’s being unreasonable. Razieh is unconvinced and, with the help of her brother Ali, wheedles last bit of money they have for the New Year, a 500-toman banknote, from her mother. She tears through town with it, losing it pretty much immediately — twice. Two snake charmers steal it from her as a “donation”, when she gets to the shop she finds the fish seller has hiked up the price, and the worst of it all, she finds out that in her excitement she’s dropped the banknote through a grill into the basement of a locked shop.

Razieh’s face vacillates from lip-quivering brow-furrowing worry to a restrained, slowly blooming joy as she interacts with multiple characters from town who seep in from the edges to try and help her. An Armenian woman helps her retrace her steps to find the dropped note, a young soldier sits with her as she waits for her brother to call the owner of the locked store. The world in the background of Razieh’s story is a very busy one, layered with small moments and characters that recur as their paths cross with each other and the little girl.

We see the crowd around the snake charmers as Razieh walks home, quiet and vibrating with her desire for a fish, and again as she passes back through them with her 500-toman note in a small fishbowl. A redheaded neighbour boy asks to get some fish from their pond — too skinny for Razieh — and reappears in the middle of her haggling with the goldfish seller, to sell him some fish. The most important recurring character is the balloon seller, who we see at the very beginning of the film moving through the market with multiple balloons tethered to a long wooden stick. It’s this stick, and the Afghan boy holding it (and a little chewing gum) that ultimately save Razieh, Ali, and their family’s plans for the New Year.

By the first 10 minutes of The White Balloon, I couldn’t stand it. I was consumed by my irritation with Razieh, with her incessant whining to her harried, put-upon mother for something that I, at my wise age of 20-something, could see was a total scam. I could barely enjoy the film even after she got the money, because immediately my irritation was joined by worry that this excited, not-so-sensible little girl wasn’t going to get her stupid fish due to naïveté and carelessness (and I was right!). I was being a bit of a Grinch about it. My feelings lasted all the way to the credits and I was secretly hoping that someone in the post-film discussion would say they didn’t like it too and take one for the haters.


The two moderators talked through the themes they could pick out from the film: the strength of love between siblings, the strong focus on material things, elements of patriarchy in the male characters’ behaviour (read: condescension) towards Razieh and how she as well as her mother are treated and perceived throughout. They shared articulate and wonderfully perceptive readings, especially wonderful because it was all in Malay, a language I don’t often hear used for film criticism and philosophical musings. Then suddenly I was being called on to explain my uncharitable, aggressive dislike of a fictional young child. I managed, just.

Thankfully I wasn’t so much of a killjoy that the moderators and the audience at the front couldn’t continue and share more thoughts on the determination and creativity of young children in pursuing small desires (which even my Grinch heart saw as a valid point). I was swayed, or at least a little less of a hater. The discussion was halting as the moderators and audience members who spoke up were hard to hear from anywhere past the first few rows, with one person called on to speak calling back, “Aku hisap rokok, aku tak perasan!”

The schoolboy cheek was at least a little endearing, even if it perhaps cut short any further discussion. #FILEMGIG certainly had the ambience and the chill vibes, but it was unfortunate that the cakap-cakap got overshadowed by the lepak-lepak. Perhaps with a microphone/loudspeaker and more structured moderation, Kelab Filem Bangsar can nail the balance with their next outing.

Or maybe we were all distracted by the smell of Dapur Jalanan Kuala Lumpur’s spread.

(Picture courtesy of Frinjan)

(Picture by Nadia Alipah)

The night wound down with shared eats (they even had toasted marshmallows) and a small acoustic music set of covers. This was Kelab Filem Bangsar’s second #FILEMGIG screening after starting up in November 2014. They plan to have themed screenings in different locations throughout the year, so follow them on Facebook and Twitter to catch the next one.

The Injustice of Lena Hendry’s Case

Posted on 10 February 2015

GOVERNMENT policing affecting freedom of expression in the arts is not new. Comedy group Instant Café Theatre was banned by Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL) for a period, over a decade ago. This was after the actors defied a government directive to remove “all references to government policies, government agencies and mention of any person dead or alive.” The Seksualiti Merdeka festival was banned by the police in 2011. In 2013, police questioned artist Anurendra Jegadeva for an art piece expressing solidarity with Muslim Iraqis, after a report was lodged alleging the artist was insulting Islam.

From live performances to festivals to art pieces, the government is now demonstrating their interest in policing the showing of films. The latest government action impacting the arts is the charging of Lena Hendry, programme coordinator at Komas. On 19 Sep 2013, she was charged under the Film Censorship Act 2002 for screening a film that had not been approved by the Film Censorship Board (the Board). The film was a documentary on the Sri Lankan conflict entitled No Fire Zone, the Killing Fields of Sri Lanka. Lena’s case has been fixed for mention in the Magistrates Court on 22 Jul 2014.

How is the case against Lena Hendry an injustice and how does it affect everyone’s freedom of expression?

Incredible law

The law under which Lena Hendry is being charged, is unspeakably broad. Lena Hendry has been charged under section 6(1)(b) which prohibits the circulation, distribution, display, production, sale or hire of any non-approved film. Section 6(1)(a) is even broader – no one can even have in their possession or custody any such film. And film is defined as any record “of a sequence of visual images…capable of being used as a means of showing that sequence as a moving picture.” Under that definition – home videos, cartoons, Hollywood movies, even moving gif images – all constitute films under the Act.

The penalty for being found guilty of having such non-approved films in one’s possession is serious. Anyone who contravenes this law can be fined between RM5,000 to RM30,000 and/or be imprisoned for up to three years.

In an era where anyone with a smartphone can produce a video and instantly share it with hundreds, if not thousands, over social media – this law seems archaic at best, and ridiculous, at worst. Besides blatantly breaching international standards on freedom of expression, it is also unenforceable. The number of people who have broken this law would far outnumber the government’s capacity to monitor and prosecute even 10% of them.

Censorship vs Freedom of Expression

And yet, the law remains on our books. An application by Lena Hendry to set aside the charge on the basis of the law being unconstitutional was rejected by the High Court on 11 Apr 2014. The judge indicated it was necessary for an “independent body like the Board” to “monitor the contents of a film.”

Granted, many jurisdictions in the world do require films to be classified before they can be shown publicly, sold or rented. Such classifications are intended for various reasons such as protecting minors from harmful or disturbing material, or allowing people to choose the level of sexual or violent material they are exposed to.

To ensure however that people’s freedom of expression, which includes the freedom to receive information, is not unduly restricted, there are usually broad exemptions to classification. Australian legislation, for instance, has a long list of exempted categories of films which do not need classification. This includes films on current affairs, sporting events, family activities, musical presentations and educational videos. This ensures that postings of wedding or school sports days’ videos on Facebook don’t break the law, which would not be the case in Malaysia.

No such protections exist in Malaysia. Exemptions in Malaysia are available entirely at the government’s discretion. First, an exemption must be granted by the government minister in charge of the Film Censorship Board. Second, the only category specifically mentioned for exemption are films sponsored by the federal government. Third, the minister may impose any conditions when granting the exemption. And fourth, the minister must be satisfied that the exemption would not be against public or national interest.

Censorship vs Copyright

There is also a difference between censoring a film and protecting a film’s copyright. In the UK for instance, a license is required before a film can be screened publicly, but this is to protect the copyright owners of the film, who invested in its making. Such licences are easily obtainable upon the payment of an affordable fee, and different classes of licenses are available to differentiate between commercial ventures such as cinemas, and non-commercial ones such as film clubs. Public screening licences are also obtainable in Malaysia through the Motion Picture Licensing Corporation.

If permission has been obtained from the film’s copyright owners to screen the film publicly, or the film has entered the public domain, then such licensing requirements may possibly be waived.

Censorship and control

Malaysia’s laws however go far beyond protecting copyright and arbitrarily restricts freedom of expression. Ultimately, section 6 of the Film Censorship Act is all about the government retaining control over what is shown to people publicly. It may not have the capacity or the will to prosecute every citizen that posts videos online or screen films publicly, but it would like to cast the net broadly enough to take action if they think such videos threaten their position.

Hence, the ban in 2011 on the Undilah video released online, encouraging Malaysians to register to vote. In banning the video, the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Communication cited the lack of approval from the Board as its reason for disallowing the video on the internet.

Such selective application of the law, culminating in the charge against Lena Hendry, is arbitrary and unjust. Malaysians have no certainty over when or how this law will be applied to them. Such restrictions are surely unconstitutional, as our Federal Court has ruled that any restriction on our fundamental rights must be necessary and proportionate to the aim it intends to achieve. Any restrictions must also be directly linked to the protection of national security, public order or public morality, and cannot be applied willy-nilly to any film produced by any citizen. This is all in line with international standards on what constitute legitimate restrictions to freedom of expression.

More awareness on the arbitrariness of section 6 of the Film Censorship Act and its chilling effect on freedom of expression is certainly needed. The government’s charging of Lena Hendry has certainly served to highlight this, but at personal cost to Lena and all those whom the government has sought to control for expressing a view they do not agree with.

Lena Hendry’s legal team has filed a new application in the High Court to declare the censorship law unconstitutional. There is a stay of proceedings on her current case in the Magistrates Court, pending the outcome of the application.

In memory of a Sudden Death.

Posted on 22 September 2014

Sudden Death High-res version
Sudden Death

This is the flyer for Sudden Death, a participatory performance in memory of Teoh Beng Hock.

The Instructions:

1. Light a candle for Teoh Beng Hock.

2. Lie on the ground, on your right side.

3. Position left leg 90 degrees away from torso. Right leg should be pointed 45 degrees from your left leg.

4. Position both arms 45 degrees from hip.

5. Don’t cry. Don’t emo. Don’t ‘improvise’. Just stay still until candle burns out, and pay respect.

Sudden Death was directed by Mark Teh, and performed numerous times in 2009, the year of political aide Teoh Beng Hock’s death. It was first performed in Findars, 6 Aug 2009, as part of the final Improv Lab @ Findars’ Space. It was also performed at Pekan Frinjan 5.0, organised by Frinjan, in Dataran Shah Alam in 7 Nov 2009 — not too far away from the MACC building.

Following that, Sudden Death was included as one of the 7-part theatre piece DELUSIONS 惑 KHAYALAN: The Year In A Word 今年一字 Setahun Dalam Kata, produced by Pentas Project,  which took place in Annexe Central Market, 17–20 December 2009. The Annexe performance also included a projection of Teoh Beng Hock’s silhouette by Bryan Chang, which the participants could lie down beside.

Sudden Death

From the Sudden Death performance at Annexe, Central Market (picture courtesy of Mark Teh)

In this performance, Mark Teh was highlighting his concern over the deaths of many individuals in custody from 2003–2009, and noted that through the politicking and media spin, Teoh had become an abstract concept to Malaysians. Teoh was not the first to die in police custody, although as the first ‘political death’, he became a symbol of the power abuse all Malaysians could be subject to from the authorities.

In January 2011, a coroner’s inquest will rule that Teoh’s death was neither homicide or suicide. In July 2011, the Royal Commission of Inquiry then officially attributed the death to suicide, though many doubts lingered over the case.

Recently, on 5 September 2014, the Court of Appeal set aside the coroner’s open verdict in the inquest, and unanimously ruled the death was caused by multiple injuries from the fall, a result accelerated by an unlawful act or acts of persons unknown — inclusive of Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) officers who were involved in his arrest and investigation. [Click for more info]

The flyer in this picture above was taken from the Annexe performance. Mark Teh is (to gloriously simplify) a part of arts collective Five Arts Centre. You can follow his personal updates on Twitter at @whoismarkteh.

On 5 Oct, those in Johor will be able to enjoy Five Arts Centre’s production of Gostan Forward (performed by Marion D’Cruz and directed by Mark Teh) in JB Arts Festival.

#Fast, Cooler Lumpur Festival of Ideas

Posted on 20 June 2014

Website : Website listings


Southeast Asia’s first festival of ideas, the Cooler Lumpur Festival, returns to Publika this weekend with the theme #Fast. Established in 2013, the festival aims to provide audience members with great discussions and dialogue. If you believe in the power of a good idea, this is the festival for you.

This is our selection of events from the festival for you, dear reader:

Friday, 20 June

#Fast Talks: Opening Keynote – F**** Censorship! by Miguel Syjuco, 830-930pm

This years #Fast Talks Lecture series at the Cooler Lumpur Festival will be opened by distinguished Filipino writer Miguel Syjuco who represents the bright future of Asian literary talent. Beginning a series of lectures by distinguished guests, with the ever present and timely topic of censorship and its constraints.

Saturday, 21 June

The Modern Malay Tongue, 12:30–1:30pm

How has Bahasa Malaysia in its written form changed over the years? From the rigid, strict, sanctioned, to the slang filled, rojak-ed hybrid we experience today, this panel will explore the evolution of the Malay language into the 21st century. It will ask whether or not in there is still room for an institutionalised tongue in this modern age?

Panelists: A. Samad Said, Uthaya Sankar SB, Nadia Khan
Moderated by Ahmad Fuad Rahmat

We’re all Beige: New Ideas in Cultural Identity, 5–6pm

We are cultural consumers. We are exposed to a glut of popular content that isn’t bound by geography, or language, or ideology. We adapt and adopt these ideas freely. So much so that our new cultural identity is something of a mishmash of global proportions. What does this mean for our notions of self? What does it mean for conventional notions of nationality?

Panelists: Miguel Syjuco, Adam Foulds, Eka Kurniawan
Moderated by Marion D’Cruz

#FAST Films: Early Indies 2 (Page 2), 8:30–9:30pm

A selection of Malaysian shorts from 2000-2005, the pathbreaking years of local independent digital filmmaking. Curated by Imri Nasution. Join us for a walk down memory lane, through the beginnings of a new century in Malaysia, when a wave of young filmmakers & alternative stories emerged. These films, all made before the age of YouTube, capture how #FAST the urban Malaysian landscape has changed.


  1. ‘Me, My Mother & Mosquito’ by Shan (2001 / 7 mins).
  2. ‘Classrooms’ by Ho Yuhang (2003 / 6 mins).
  3. ‘Flower’ by Liew Seng Tat (2005 / 19 mins).
  4. ‘Ada Bola’ by JImmy Choong (2004 / 8 mins).
  5. ‘Majidee’, by Azharr Rudin (2005 / 15 mins).

Total running time: 55 mins.

Bump in the Night, 11:59pm

Once upon a midnight dreary…Bump in the Night is back to spook and excite audiences at The Cooler Lumpur Festival. Come join us at midnight and be scared silly by a series of horror stories performed by some of the best voices Malaysia has to offer.

Note: Persons under 18 are not recommended to attend.
Storytellers: Kamini Ramachandran, Susan Lankester, Patrick Teoh

Sunday, 22 June

Lost and Found in Translation, 11am-12pm

How important is translation in broadening our horizons, in opening our minds to other lives and other worlds? Join the panel as they discuss whether translation can be the key to unity in the multi-racial, multi-religious, multi-coloured, multi-everything societies we live in. Will it help us better understand ourselves and those around us?

Panelists: Dr Sarah Meisch, Zhang Su Li, Pauline Fan
Moderated by Eddin Khoo

Nay Phone Latt in conversation with Sharaad Kuttan, 4:30–5:30pm

Sharaad Kuttan, radio producer and presenter with BFM89.9 will host Nay Phone Latt the Burmese blogger and activist who was a recipient of PEN/Barbara Goldsmith Freedom to Write Award in 2010. From 2008 to 2012, he was detained at Hpa-An Prison due to his alleged involvement in spreading news during 2007 Burmese anti-government protests using his blogs. He was also listed as a political prisoner by Assistance Association for Political Prisoners of Burma. Join us as he talks about his fascinating story.

Reimagining Malaysian Cinema, 6–7pm

We’re making and releasing more movies than ever before. But are they any good? We’re setting ourselves up to be the Vancouver of South East Asia. But do we have the chops? An open and honest, down and dirty discussion on the future of Malaysian cinema.

Panelists: Hassan Abd Muthalib, Low Ngai Yuen, Tengku Iesta Tengku Alaudin
Moderated by Johanan Sen

The events listed are available for free, so no tickets are required. Enjoy, and we hope you find inspiration for your next great idea from this festival.

Disclaimer: Panellist for Reimagining Malaysian Cinema, Low Ngai Yuen, is the head of our parent company Kakiseni

PJ Laugh Fest

Posted on 15 May 2014

Website : PJ Live Arts

Twitter : @PJLiveArts


The PJ Laugh Fest is Asia’s biggest annual comedy festival, and it officially kicks off today with an eclectic range of comedy shows for the next fortnight. These are the shows we recommend:


Faulty Towers — The Dining Experience

14 May–1 June, 7:30PM (and additional 12:30pm show on weekends); RM185 (Dinner), RM165 (Lunch).


Fans of the beloved British comedy series Fawlty Towers will get the best of its gags and a wonderful 3-course meal, served by the neurotic Basil, domineering Sybil and language-challenged Manuel (characters made famous by John Cleese, Prunella Scales and Andrew Sachs). Everything that can go wrong, will go wrong — so make sure you come for the food, stay for the laughs, and let Faulty Towers serve you the best of both. If they can.

Shear Madness

28 May–14 June, 8:30PM; RM50, RM65, RM80


This is the Malaysian adaptation of the world’s longest-running comedy play, and takes the form of a mystery murder in a unisex hair salon. Isabel Fernandez, landlady and former world-famous pianist, is murdered with a set of beautician shears — and everyone is a suspect! Can you guess whodunit?

Sticks, Stones, Broken Bones

24–26 May, 2PM; RM40, RM125 (4 Tickets),


The most family-friendly of all your options, Jeff Achtem is a contemporary light and shadow puppetry artist. This award-winning, wordless, shadow puppet comedy transforms household junk into surreal shadow puppets featuring flying chickens, brain transplants and sneaky ninjas! Very clever, and delightful for all-ages.


Awek Chuck Taylor

24–25 May, 3pm & 8:30PM; RM30 & RM40


Those who did not manage to catch the workshop performance earlier this year should definitely get their tickets early for this. Based on Nami Cob Nobbler’s best-seller novel, a romantic comedy about dating, flirting and love. Mature audiences recommended. Note: Show is performed in Malay without subtitles.

Making S#it Up Comedy

21–22 May, 8:30PM; RM68 (VIP), RM58 (Premium), RM43 (Economy)


It’s an all-star, all-male, standup comedy line-up as Harith Iskander takes to the stage with Jit Murad, Phoon Chi Ho, Douglas Lim, Kuah Jenhan and more. Expect comedy sketches, improv and laughter aplenty.

For full listings of shows, click here. Discounts are available for LIVE Cardholders.

KL International Jazz & Arts Festival 2014

Posted on 2 May 2014

KL Intl Jazz : Website

Date : 17–18 May 2014

YouTube : select 2013 performances

Venue : University of Malaya

The KL International Jazz & Arts Festival returns this year with yet another noteworthy lineup — expect performances by acclaimed international jazz stars and the best local talents.

The highlight of the festival will be pianist/vocalist Diane Schuur, a longtime disciple of Dinah Washington and other legendary jazz singers of the ’40s and ’50s. Schuur has racked up two Grammy awards and three Grammy nominations in a recording career spanning nearly three decades.

Also of note amongst the international artists are critically-acclaimed jazz pianist Keiko Matsui, and Grammy-nominated recording artist John Beasley.

Malaysian artists performing include Jordan Rivers Band, Rachel Guerzo and Bassment Syndicate.

festivalflyer1 festivalflyer1b


Posted on 16 April 2014

THE SEA IS OURS is an anthology of Southeast Asian steampunk. We are looking for steampunk stories that are set in Southeast Asia, or secondary worlds that evoke Southeast Asia, with Southeast Asian protagonists, in any of the countries that make up the region: Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, East Timor, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam. We are looking historically and technologically-innovative stories.

Steampunk, for the purposes of this anthology, is defined as an aesthetic that combines technofantasy, anachronism, retro-futurism, an alternate history / world, and the evocation of an incipient industrial revolution. How does the steampunk aesthetic look, feel, sound, smell, or taste like in these regions? What kind of technologies would grow in resource-rich SEAsia?

What do our historical figures, our Parameswaras, Trung sisters, Lapu-Lapus, do in such a world? Submissions are encouraged to explore various levels and kinds of technologies, not just steam technology. Locals myths can also find their way into these stories; what does the mix of technology and fantasy look like in such worlds? Explore all kinds of stories: from the extraordinary to the everyday. What changes does accelerated technology create for the local landscape and societies? Choose historical events and give them a steampunk twist: how do their outcomes change, or stay the same?

Formatting Guidelines:

  • Send all submissions and queries to sea.steampunk@gmail.com in RTF, DOC, or DOCX.
  • Submissions should have SEA-STEAM: [story title] in the subject line.
  • Please do not attach a cover letter; cover letters are the text of your email.
  • Wordcount: between 2,500 – 9000 words long.
  • Fonts: size 12; Courier or Times New Roman.
  • No cover page; name, email address and wordcount on the first page; name/story title/page in headers. Please see Standard Manuscript Formatting.
  • Submissions close June 30, 2014.
  • We will contact all submitters within four weeks of submissions closing.

General guidelines:

  • Stories should have a visible development arc, even if they are somewhat experimental.
  • Stories should be in English, but we take a broad view of English, which includes dialect, accents, local slang, and non-English words that express nuances that standard English can’t.
  • Characters should be embedded in their settings. we should not be able to transplant the specifics of their story easily, even if they are based on common science fiction / fantasy archetypes.
  • Local takes on actual historical events are highly encouraged, although not necessary in alternate world settings. If we don’t know the event you’re writing about, we’ll Wiki or you can tell us all about it in your submission email.
  • Stories featuring queer characters, characters with disabilities, non-normative relationships and other such non-mainstream narratives are welcome.


How much are you paying?

5c/word for an original story; 1/c for a reprint.

Do these stories HAVE to be in SEAsia?

No. Secondary worlds evoking SEAsia are cool and exciting.

Can I write a story about SEAsians in other countries?

Yes, but we may not be as interested in a story about a SEAsian in, say, Britain, featuring Eurocentric steampunk technofantasy that we can find elsewhere. Query and we’ll see.

Can I write a story about not-SEAsians in SEAsia?

Maybe. We’re not interested in colonial narratives, but we’d be intrigued with a story of non-SEAsian traders dealing with SEAsians. Query and we’ll see.

Can I see previous examples of / resources for SEAsian steampunk?

Yes, here is a list of SEAsian steampunk stories and resources (not all available online though!):

  • The Terracotta Bride by Zen Cho, Steam-Powered 2: More Lesbian Steampunk Stories
  • “On Wooden Wings” by Paolo Chikiamco, Philippine Speculative Fiction 6
  • High Society by Paolo Chikiamco and Hanna Buena (comic)
  • “Moon Maiden’s Mirror” by Joyce Chng, Semaphore Magazine
  • “Chang’Er Flew To The Moon” by Joyce Chng, Bards and Sages
  • “Between Islands” by Jaymee Goh, Expanded Horizons
  • “Lunar Year’s End” by Jaymee Goh, Crossed Genres
  • “The Last Rickshaw” by Stephanie Lai, Crossed Genres
  • “One Last Interruption Before We Begin” by Stephanie Lai, Steam-Powered 2: More Lesbian Steampunk Stories
  • Lao Steampunk blogposts by Bryan Thao Worra
  • Steampunk Nusantara, DreamWidth Community
  • The Steam-Powered Globe, edited by Maisarah Abu Samad and Rosemary Lim
  • Digitizing Chinese Englishmen

Do these stories have to be nautical-themed?

Despite the title THE SEA IS OURS, stories do not actually have to be on, above, under or even near the sea. Or have anything to do with large bodies of water.

If I get rejected, will you tell me why?

If we have the energy, sure, but be careful what you wish for. Resultant hate mail will be summarily deleted, or published somewhere for public mocking.

White Rabbit Red Rabbit Talkback & Workshop

Posted on 21 February 2014

Tickets : Dpac.com.my

Talkback promo High-res version

The most interesting theatre show in Klang Valley this month is likely White Rabbit, Red Rabbit. The playwright, Nassim Soleimanpour of Iran, conceived an idea for a show that could travel without him, and would require no directors, no stage, no rehearsals. Every night, an actor receives the script and performs a cold reading of the text to a live audience. Much of what delights about the show is seeing how dramatically the energy and feel of it changes depending on the actor onstage, and the audience members pulled up with him/her.

It’s a show that addresses the more sinister questions of life with a lighthearted voice — but the questions will stick in your head after. The point of the show is to be surprised, so we don’t want to give away anything — but do make time to watch it. The play is performed in three languages in Malaysia (KL and Penang): Malay, English, and Mandarin.

Below are the details for talkback with the people behind White Rabbit Red Rabbit (including playwright Nassim Soleimanpour), and a theatre workshop for those interested.

Talkback promo

A workshop for theatre makers, playwrights, theatre students and theatre goers.

Is it possible to have theatrical performance by a non- the theatrical frame? And if, the frame is subverted in this way, is it still theatre? Or has the whole event evaporated back into life?

DATE: Feb 24 & 25 (Mon & Tue)
TIME: 7.00pm- 11.00pm
VENUE: Five Arts Centre @TTDI, Studio (Address:27,27A, Jalan Datuk Sulaiman 7, Taman Tun Dr.Ismail, 60000,KL)
FEE: RM60/pax
DRESS CODE: Dress Comfortably
1.Bank into The Instant Café Theatre Company (Bank Acc: RHB Bank 21403500133062), send the bank in slip to the email below.
2.Pay cash to Hui Ting (Stage Manager) OR Tania (F.O.H) during the performance of White Rabbit Red Rabbit.

Kindly email instantcafetheatre.co@gmail.com to book a slot. Limited to the first 30 applicants.

Nassim Soleimanpour is an independent multidisciplinary theatre maker from Tehran, Iran. Best known for his play White Rabbit Red Rabbit, Dublin Fringe Festival Best New Performance, Summerworks Outstanding New Performance Text Award and The Arches Brick Award (Edinburgh Fringe) as well as picking up nominations for a Total Theatre and Brighton Fringe Pick of Edinburgh Award. Nassim is an experienced public speaker, most recently as a panellist for the In Conversation series.

A Little Conviction

Posted on 28 November 2013

Venue : The Canvas

Facebook : Electric Minds Project

Listing : FB event page

Twitter : @electricminds

Hashtag : #alittleconvictionemp


Electric Minds Project takes on the story of boy meets girl (and gets engagement ring) with A Little Conviction, Jody Lancaster’s newest comedy about the war of the sexes and the great eternal mystery of what women want from men. The play features Ostella Adam, Karynn Tan, Alvin Looi and Tan Meng Kheng, and is directed by Alex Chua.

Audience members can immerse themselves in the play, as there will be no audience seating — the performance will happen around you, and you get to choose who or what you want to watch.*

Evening shows: 27–30 Nov , 8.30pm
(RM38 full price, RM33 Adults under 30, RM23 concessions)
Matinee shows: 30 Nov – 1 Dec, 3.30pm
(RM23 flat rate)
Ticket deals: Buy 4 Get 1 Free For on all online purchases.

Extra links:

The Star: The gem session [read]
The Backstage Life: A Little Conviction [watch]


Posted on 28 November 2013

Facebook : TEDxKLWomen

Kakiseni : Buy Tickets

Cheryl Yeoh (pic by Ed Garcia at http://www.edcarlogarcia.com/)

Cheryl Yeoh (pic by Ed Garcia at http://www.edcarlogarcia.com/)

A celebration of the art of entrepreneurship, innovation and invention in all its forms, TEDxKLwomen makes its annual return to the stage with this year’s theme “Money — Invented Here”. The conference aims to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences, and will feature a list of guest entrepreneurs who will speak on turning new ideas and innovations into financial success.

Speakers include Tintoy Chua and Take Huat of the popular Peperangan Bintang (Star Wars in Wayang Kulit); notorious comedian Joanne Kam; founder of all-female Queen’s Hostel Rachel Koay; food stylist Samantha Lee; The Apprentice UK contestant and social entrepreneur Melody Hossaini; luxury headband designers from Sereni & Shentel; and successful founder of tech startups Cheryl Yeoh.

For more information, visit TEDxKLWomen FB, and purchase tix here. *

Disclaimer: TEDxKLwomen is an initiative by Women:Girls (which shares an office space with Kakiseni), and Lynn Loo of our parent company Kakiseni is working on the project.