Art and activism bazaar returns with numerous activities

A total of 70 art and crafts booths will be featured at Art For Grabs at The School in Jaya One, Petaling Jaya.

A total of 70 art and crafts booths will be featured at Art For Grabs at The School in Jaya One, Petaling Jaya.

WRAPPING up the year with love and respect for vulnerable communities, Art For Grabs returns with its final instalment of the year at The School, Jaya One in Petaling Jaya.

Themed “Laundromat of Love”, the bazaar will feature 70 art and crafts booths, 20 local causes and 12 events to highlight the work of local artists and activists, in collaboration with the EU Delegation to Malaysia.

The weekend event will also feature a forum on the Rohingya community titled “Rohingya: What can we do?” which will discuss what Malaysians can do to support and give aid to the community.

The panel session will feature representatives from the EU Delegation to Malaysia, Tenaganita, Asia-Pacific Refugee Rights Network as well as former Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) special envoy to Myanmar Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar and Klang MP Charles Santiago.

EU Delegation to Malaysia ambassador Maria Castillo Fernandez said the sessions put forward by the EU were on general human rights themes which concern the public.

“The European Union and its member states are delivering more than half of the total financial support to the Rohingya refugees and we will continue to support them.

“Seeing so many young children taking care of even younger children is striking.

“This means that we have to take care of entire generations – women of just 20 years old who have already experienced all the worst that life can bring.

“Rights to work, healthcare and education for refugees and asylum seekers in Malaysia can be improved. This is an aspect which we hope can be touched upon in the discussion.

“We would like to have a discussion with the greater public and hear their concerns,” she said.

To be launched at the event is a poetry book titled Voices of the Displaced, which is a collection of poetry written by migrant workers and refugees for the Migrant Poetry Competition in 2015 and 2016.

Children participating in a craft workshop at Art For Grabs.
Children participating in a craft workshop at Art For Grabs.

Edited by Sharanya Premanathan and Tshiung Han See, the compilation features the works of poets from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Syria.

There will also be a forum on curbing the culture of online attacks titled “Rape and Hate Online: The Hidden Costs of A Malicious Culture” by Empower, the launch of Kleptopoly, a board game designed to help you understand asset declaration, money laundering and how to prevent corruption, and a dedicated room for youngsters to learn about marginalised children in various communities.

Art For Grabs founder Pang Khee Teik said the theme Laundromat of Love was chosen to remind Malaysians of common problems and how to fix them together.

“When we look at problems as our own, we can easily end up seeing other people as part of the problem. We end up seeing other races as the enemy.

“Our problems are all chained to the same root causes, the same economic forces and the same culture.

“That is why we will not be able to solve our problems alone. We need each other.

“This round, we will present many rooms dedicated to human rights non-governmental organisations, social enterprises and groups fighting against discrimination.

“Educate your children from a young age by taking them to the Children’s Room to meet young people dedicated to reaching out to marginalised children.

“Participants above the age of 15 are invited to the Human Room, to watch people from around the world answer what they mean by love, family, poverty, inequality, and death, and contribute your own meanings as part of the art installation.

“We hope this series of events will help everyone appreciate how being human means to each of us and how important it is to protect that difference,” he said.

Art For Grabs: Laundromat of Love will take place on Dec 16 and 17, from noon to 8pm at The School, Jaya One in Petaling Jaya

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