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Saturday, May 03, 2008

Anticipation and this thing called KLAB 2008

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Today, Walski will be making a visit to Central Market. For two reasons. Well, one main reason, and one other reason, related to the main reason. But it's the other reason that Walski's probably more looking forward to.

The main reason?

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So yeah... it's the KL Aternative Bookfest (KLAB) 2008, today and tomorrow at Central Market - KL's organic cultural hub... some may disagree, but that's how Walski sees CM. In any case, it will be two event-filled days. Here's an excerpt from the event's Facebook page (you need to be on Facebook to access):

Oh you ain't gonna find swashbucklers here or how to become rich in 200 pages. You're not going to even get a VVIP launching HIS coffee-table book here. We're literary snoots, we like to believe, but we're edgy, cool and a lot more fun than a titled personality.

KLAB, or the Kuala Lumpur Alternative Book Festival, is where book lovers, hipsters, politicos, film-makers, anyone who's anyone who love books which feed the mind and soul and champion causes, gather.

SIRD. Silverfish Books. Gerak Budaya. Matahari Books. Suara-Suara. KiniBooks. These are some of the few names you'll see at KLAB. 15 stalls selling books you must get.

Four book launches. BERSIH photo-book. "Kakiseni" playwriting winners. Aweks KL. Religion Under Siege.

And Hishamuddin Rais' new book, available for the first time.

(event highlights, and the other reason, in the full post)

So, what's going on in conjuction with KLAB 2008? Here's a preview of the happenings' highlights, based on the latest program Walski's seen. There's music, too, Walski's been told...

Saturday, May 3rd
1:30 - 3:00pm Bersih coffee table book launch (by Haris Ibrahim)
3:00 - 4:00pm Farish Noor - "The Lost Tribes of Malaysia"
4:00 - 6:00pm Wacana on Book Banning: Readers Want Answers
, panelists include
  • V. Gayathry (Centre for Independent Journalism)
  • Astora Jabat (formerly of Al-Islam magazine, dan ex-Utusan Malaysia Islam Q&A columnist)
  • Norhayati Kaprawi (Sisters In Islam)
  • Representative from Home Ministry (to be confirmed - assuming someone shows up!)
Sunday, May 4th
2:00pm Joint book launch: Kakiseni & Aweks KL
4:00pm Book launch: Religion Under Siege

Incidentally, today is also officilly World Press Freedom Day. So it's rather fitting that KLAB 2008 is on this very weekend. Actually, Walski's got some comments about the recently released Freedom House's Freedom of the Press 2008 Survey, in which Malaysia languishes at a very Un-Free 141st place (out of 195), sharing the place with such illustrious nations as Cameroon and Liberia. But not today, as KLAB 2008 beckons, and a proper commentary takes time...

So, what's the second reason, based on the first reason, which is KLAB 2008? It is to have the opportunity to meet, for the first time, in person, Farish A. Noor. Walski, almost without fail, really loves reading his articles, published via The Other Malaysia. Farish comes across as someone who's rather troubled with some of the trends he sees happening in Malaysia, and elsewhere, particularly when it comes to Islam. The same kind of troubling feeling Walski gets, looking at some of the trends. But unlike Walski, Farish puts across his thoughts most eloquently.

Then again, Farish A. Noor's a real intellectual. Something which Walski is definitely not (although he tries to pretend, every now and again...).

And for the first time, hopefully, Walski will get to meet Farish. Been told that he's a pretty cool guy. And Walski was told this on very good authority (whom he hopes will also be at KLAB later today).

In any case, it should be a thought provoking Saturday ahead... And hey... if you think you recognize Walski in the crowd, do come by and say hi...

There are other posts that Walski needs to churn out, but those can wait till later. KLAB 2008 is more pressing for this weekend... Priorities on limited time, you know?