Festival of indigenous art and culture

The inaugural Johor Baru Indigenous Festival (IF 2015) is happening alongside the Tropics > Tropics Tour from Queensland, Australia at the Mall of Medini, Nusajaya from now to Nov 15.

Poster for the inaugural Johor Baru
Indigenous Festival 2015
The first of its kind in the country, the IF 2015 is organized by Johor Baru: International Festival City (JB:IFC), an initiative by the Johor Society for the Performing Arts (JSPA) in recognition of the United Nations’ International Day of the World’s Indigenous Peoples.

The indigenous festival has a week-long programme to showcase the distinct and diverse cultural art forms of the Orang Asli of Peninsular Malaysia through an exciting array of performances, exhibitions and workshops.

The not-to-be-missed activities in the programme are weaving and carving demonstrations by the Mah Meri People of Pulau Carey, fusion music by Gentaq Balai Orang Asli, traditional dances by the Seletar People of Kampung Sungai Temun, Johor, and nose-flute performances by Asyik FM DJ, Kamel Alang.

Visitors to the festival will have a rare opportunity to experience the Orang Asli lifestyle with parts of the mall transformed to resemble a settlement of the Seletar People of Kampung Sungai Temun.

“The festival is an opportunity for people to acknowledge that indigenous cultures – the world’s longest continuing traditions – are not fossilised expressions of an unchanging society but they are continuously evolving, incorporating the past, present and future into a complete and present reality,” said IF 2015 festival director, Suzie Yap.

“The voices of these communities should be heard and empowered, while the wealth and diversity of these cultures should be celebrated and not forgotten,” she added.

The festival will also feature the work of Ronnie Bahari, a photographer from the Semai ethnic group, who aims to release a photographic bibliography which represents all 18 Orang Asli tribes in Peninsular Malaysia.

The Tropics > Tropics Tour from Australia introduces the diversity of their indigenous cultures – Aboriginal and Torres Strait – that is unique to Cairns, but still shares similarities with Malaysia’s Orang Asli communities.

The programme highlights include theatre performers, artists and musicians from Queensland who will uncover their relationship to the tropical landscape through art, lyrics, poetry and dance.

“It’s with great pleasure and pride that I take my place of settlement to the place where I was born, to brag, to share and bring together the diverse but not-so-different cultures, to create a platform of exchange and friendship,” said Tropics > Tropics Tour curator Dr Sasi Victoire, who is Malaysian-born and lives in Cairns.

An art exhibition on the Tropics theme from Nov 12 to 15 will let visitors see the Tropics as a source of inspiration of how the surrounding land, its flora and fauna, can impact on the imagination of artists who live there.

This exhibition aims to open a conversation on the value and importance of the Tropics for the future, a topic which will be discussed in a forum chaired by Dr Victoire with a panel of featured speakers on Nov 12.

For more information on IF 2015, Tel: +60197139900 and +60197169900 or follow JB Arts Festival on Facebook at www.facebook.com/jbartsfestival

A version of this was published in The Malaysian Insider on 7 Nov 2015

No comments:

Post a Comment