Wednesday, 4 June 2014 | MYT 6:00 PM

Tracking the future of culture: Cooler Lumpur Festival returns

Cooler than cool: The Cooler Lumpur Festival, KL's hippest literary arts festival, returns this year from June 20 to 22 at Publika.

Cooler than cool: The Cooler Lumpur Festival, KL's hippest literary arts festival, returns this year from June 20 to 22 at Publika.

Kuala Lumpur's hippest literary arts festival returns for its second year with its eye firmly fixed on the future of culture. 

Whether the future is going to be apocalyptic or utopian, the fact of the matter is that it’s in our hands and The Cooler Lumpur Festival 2014 is all about heading off into the future “at the speed of thought”.

Happening from June 20 to 22 at Publika in Kuala Lumpur, the literary culture-centred festival takes on the theme #Fast this time around. The festival, which also sports a diverse creative range, is a collaboration between PopDigital, BMW and the British Council.

“We chose this theme because the fasting month is approaching and we thought it will be an interesting play on the word fast,” says Hardesh Singh, the festival’s executive director, tongue-in-cheek. “But more importantly, the underlining theme is rooted in ideas that will move our culture forward,” he adds.

This year's cool: Among the anticipated luminaries at this year's edition of The Cooler Lumpur Festival are (from left) storyteller Kamini Ramachandran from Singapore, novelist Miguel Syjuco from the Philippines, and singer songwriter Azmyl Yunor from Malaysia. 

Established last year, The Cooler Lumpur Festival is all about encouraging dialogue and sharing of ideas among thinkers, writers, artists, musicians and the likes from all across the world. 

“Good debates and sound discussions are necessary and very important for any society. And keeping the discourse will provide the tools to implement the great ideas that will arise from the festival,” says Umapagan Ampikaipakan, the festival’s literary director.

Some of the exciting activities lined up for the three-day festival are: The Living City, an interactive exhibition that explores the idea of city making using Lego blocks; a performance-lecture by academician and singer songwriter Azmyl Yunor; and Poskod Journalism Campus.

The Writers Residency, the festival’s pilot programme to train promising writers, happens from June 18 to 20.

Among the notable speakers at this year’s festival are Miguel Syjuco, Filipino author and grand prize winner of the Man Asian Literary Prize for his novel Ilustrado; Myanmarese blogger and activist Nay Phone Latt; the Inspector Singh series author Shamini Flint; oral traditionalist/storyteller Kamini Ramachandran; British journalist Damian Barr; and novelist Adam Foulds, whose book The Quickening Maze was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.

The Cooler Lumpur Festival 2014 will be happening at Publika, Solaris Dutamas in Kuala Lumpur from June 20 to 22. For more information, visit

Tags / Keywords: Books , Lifestyle , Lifestyle , Books , News , Arts , The Cooler Lumpur Festival , literary festival , event , FAST , Azmyl Yunor , Miguel Syjuco , Nay Phone Latt , Shamini Flint , Kamini Ramachandran , Damian Barr , Adam Foulds


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