A platform to explore the cultures, communities of Borneo


Azlan Othman

A compilation of quotes and highlights from online lectures and guest speakers including Jang Elroy anak Ramantan from Brunei (Minority report) will be featured in the arts platform and organization Borneo Bengkel which will launch its very first publication as a free, downloadable online e-zine.

The e-zine is the culmination of “Bor (neo): The Project”, a series of four online conferences held in May and June 2021 with the aim of highlighting Bornean and international creators exploring identity, culture and creative experimentation.

To officially launch tomorrow, the compilation features Malaysian creatives Yee I-Lann (Heart of Borneo), Wendi Sia (Gerimis), Jennifer P Linggi and Jang Elroy from Brunei and Ramantan (Minority report).

Discussions covered a wide range of topics, including creative expression, indigenous identities and cultural appropriation.

The series also provided Borneo Bengkel with her first opportunity to collaborate with Bruneian designers through a talk on “Representation Matters: A Glimpse into Brunei through its Art Scene”.

The conference featured artists Jang Elroy, Susannah anak Rogo Sitai Liew, Maziyah Yussof and Nazurah Usop, who provided important insight into Brunei’s burgeoning art scene.

Borneo co-curator and designer Bengkel Sarawakian Sonia Luhong Wan said, “We hope we can go beyond the Malaysian coast and share these conversations with audiences from other nations.

The goal, she said, is for the audience to “hear the diverse and nuanced perspectives of communities in Borneo and the region, while learning more about the work of some incredibly talented people who lead some truly exciting cultural initiatives. “.

With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing a shift in the number of jobs, the Sarawak-based Borneo Bengkel platform was no different, especially since its primary mode of operation required travel and gatherings across the country. countries for various artistic programs.

In the true spirit of agi idup, agi ngelaban, an Iban saying that literally translates to “still alive, always fighting,” Borneo Bengkel broke the boundaries of physical gatherings and went virtual, ultimately creating the electronic magazine .

Program Co-Commissioner Catriona Maddocks from UK said: “Earlier this year we had some really fascinating conferences that covered a lot of diverse topics.

“We wanted these words and conversations to reach a larger audience rather than those who had attended online. ”

She continued, “By presenting these live discussions in a free downloadable magazine format, it will allow more people to educate themselves on these important issues, learn from different perspectives and be more informed when they talk about these. topics.”


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