A compilation of quotes and highlights from online talks and invited speakers including Brunei’s Jang Elroy anak Ramantan (Minority Report) will be highlighted in the art platform and organisation Borneo Bengkel which will be launching its first ever publication in the form of a free, downloadable online e-zine.
The e-zine is a culmination of ‘Bor(neo): The Project’, a series of four online talks held throughout May and June 2021 with the aim to highlight Bornean and international creatives exploring identity, culture, and creative experimentation.
To be officially launched tomorrow, the compilation includes Malaysian creatives Yee I-Lann (Borneo Heart), Wendi Sia (Gerimis), Jennifer P Linggi and Brunei’s Jang Elroy anak Ramantan (Minority Report).
The talks covered a wide range of topics, including creative expression, indigenous identities, and cultural appropriation.
The series also provided Borneo Bengkel with its first opportunity to collaborate with Bruneian creatives through a talk on ‘Representation Matters: A Glimpse into Brunei through its Art Scene’.
The talk featured artists Jang Elroy, Susannah anak Rogo Sitai Liew, Maziyah Yussof and Nazurah Usop, who provided important insight into Brunei’s burgeoning art scene.
Co-curator and designer for Borneo Bengkel Sarawakian Sonia Luhong Wan said, “We hope that we can reach beyond Malaysian shores and share these conversations with audiences from other nations.”
The aim, she said, is for audiences to”hear the diverse and nuanced perspectives of communities from Borneo and the region, while learning more about the work of some incredibly talented individuals who are spearheading really exciting cultural initiatives”.
With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing change to how many work, the Sarawak-based platform Borneo Bengkel was no different, especially as its main mode of operation required cross-country travelling and gatherings for various arts programmes.
In true agi idup, agi ngelaban spirit, an Iban saying which literally translates to ‘still alive, still fighting’, Borneo Bengkel moved beyond the limitations of physical gatherings and went virtual, ultimately creating the e-zine.
Programme co-curator Catriona Maddocks from the United Kingdom said, “Earlier this year, we hosted some really fascinating talks that covered many diverse topics.
“We wanted these words and conversations to reach a wider audience rather than just those who had attended online.”
She continued, “By presenting these live talks in a magazine format that can be downloaded for free, it will allow more people to learn about these important issues, learn different perspectives and be more informed when talking about these topics.”