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Five free things to do at The Cooler Lumpur Festival 2016

The Cooler Lumpur Festival 2014

Southeast Asia’s first and only festival of culture and ideas, Cooler Lumpur returns this year (Sep 10-11 at MAP @ Publika) to delve into all things independence in its fourth installment. Themed ‘RE: Independence’, the festival will attempt to re-examine what it really means to be truly independent in mind and spirit – as a person, as a community, as a nation. Here, we highlight five free and unmissable events.

RE: English, Singlish, Manglish
Fuad Rahmat speaks to an English person, a Singaporean and two Malaysians about the English language – more specifically, the adoption and appropriation, the mangling and the mixing, and the use and abuse of the language. On the panel are journalist and theatre critic Kate Bassett; Singaporean born and bred author Cheryl Tan; and Malaysian writers Chuah Guat Eng and Hanna Alkaf.
Sep 10, 6-7pm, Black Box

RE: On being Malaysian
Lat aka The Kampung Boy is a cartoonist – a national hero – who captures the many subtleties of Malaysian society through his comics. Over the decades, his cartoons have come to identify what it means to be Malaysian – and Kam Raslan speaks to Lat about exactly that in this one-on-one conversation. After, stay for the book signing session which will be held at the White Box. 
Sep 11, 10-11am, Black Box

RE: Crossing Paths – Spiritual Resources for Queer/Trans Empowerment
In an intimate conversation with Leyla Jagiella, Joseph N Goh discusses the frequency in which political clashes and conflicts are often imagined as conflicts between cultures, civilisations and religions – especially when it involves discourse around LGBTQI social justice and rights. The two attempt to steer the dialogue towards one that will enable us to find empowerment and intellectual enlightenment.
Sep 11, 1-2pm, Black Box

RE: Minds for the Future 
Everyone’s a critic – but there is destructive, knee-jerk, thoughtless criticism, and then there is good criticism. Sharmilla Ganesan talks to British theatre critic Kate Bassett, cultural anthropologist Leyla Jagiella, and activist and arts consultant Pang Khee Teik about the need for criticism to develop independent minds, as well as to promote dialogue and engagement.
Sep 11, 4-5pm, Black Box

RE: Chic Lit, or Why Women Should Rule the World
Literature is still very much a man’s world – often, works by women writers are dismissed, deemed sentimental and not taken seriously by publishers, critics, and award panels. Here, Umapagan Ampikaipakan sits down with two women in literature – Cheryl Tan and Shamini Flint – to talk about how they have gone about finding their own literary voice and why that’s important in today’s literary landscape.
Sep 11, 7-8pm, Black Box

To check out the full list of carefully curated lectures, panel discussions and workshops, visit