Special Seminar on new Malaysian activism and youth, on 7th December 16:00-18:00

Speaker : Zikri Rahman(co-founder of Buku Jalanan)
Title: The Praxis of Becoming: The (Re)Imagination of Buku Jalanan .

Date and Time: December 7th (Thursday), 2017, 16:00-18:00
Venue: Seminar Room (No.107) on the 1st floor of East Bldg (東棟1階), Center for Southeast Asian Studies, Kyoto University

Moderator: Tsukasa Iga (CSEAS, Kyoto University)

The National Civics Bureau (BTN), a Malaysian government organisation directly under the Prime Minister Office in their series of leaked slides in 2015, has red-flagged Buku Jalanan and several other arts and cultural collectives as the “masterminds” of an anti-establishment movement influencing youths on how to vote in the upcoming 14th Malaysian General Election. With the continuous wave of cultural activism formation post 12th General Election in 2008, the phenomena has opened up a space of political contestations of ideas and hope especially among the disillusioned youths in pioneering various reflections of democratic activism; be it in the strands of independent literary circles, arts collectives and cultural fronts in challenging the State’s narratives and hegemony.

Focusing on Buku Jalanan; a cultural literacy networks of community based initiatives, as one of the various manifestations of cultural activism, the discussions will highlight the potentialities of “rhizomifications” of its praxis in tracing and mapping the discourse in the process of an ongoing democratization beyond electoral politics. Buku Jalanan as the “process of being” through its dynamics of politico-cultural subversion, intervention and transgression of Malaysia’s cultural spheres will be further discussed. Of this, the questions of contested space, as well as the decentering project of knowledge and cultural production will serve as one of the important trajectories in its cultural politics imagination.

The presentation also will aims to explore the amorphous; non-structured tendency and inclinations of its organizational form(s) within the translocal and transnational networks in analysing its possibilities of contextualised localities and positionalities. Further interrogations of its frameworks through the ever-changing volatility of cultural tactics and strategies experimentations in Malaysia current political and social milieu will further deepen the abstractness in the spirit of liberation from the struggles worldwide.

About the speaker:
Zikri Rahman has consistently embarked on collaborations with cultural activist circles in various socio-political fronts. Buku Jalanan, a community-based cultural literacy initiative he co-founded, is a loose cultural and knowledge workers network focusing on decentralizing the modes of knowledge production. Operating like a “rhizome”, the initiative is spread to almost one hundred different locations and counting, where it has been adopted by hundreds of other autonomous cultural workers worldwide. He is also the festival director of the inaugural Idearaya, a festival of ideas dedicated to celebrating progressive discourses within the vibrant grassroots community of intelligentsia, civil society, and community organizers in Southeast Asia. With LiteraCity, he initiated a literary and cultural mapping project in the city of Kuala Lumpur. Currently pursuing his postgraduate studies in Social Research and Cultural Studies in Taiwan, Zikri is also a writer, independent researcher, translator and occasional podcaster for various ephemeral, yet multiple platforms.