“MOST people think cities are about buildings, roads, rivers or parks, but I think what makes a city is the people who live in it, said Federal Territories Minister Khalid Abdul Samad.
He said this after attending a photo exhibition entitled “Stories from Malaysia” which featured portraits depicting the personal stories of Malaysians across a diverse range of backgrounds.
“It is nice to know the stories of everyday Kuala Lumpur citizens through different sets of eyes.
“That is why I fully support this programme. I will write a proposal to Kuala Lumpur City Hall and urge the Federal Territories Ministry to support initiatives such as this,” said Khalid.
He added that by reading other people’s stories, it can broaden the opportunity to learn from other people’s experiences.
The stories of 50 Malaysians from various backgrounds were chosen to be exhibited at Carcosa Seri Negara for the first time under the theme “Diversecity” this year.
Organised by Human of Kuala Lumpur (HOKL), the photo stories made its debut in 2012, and since then, has been a platform to showcase photos and stories of Malaysians.
Kuala Lumpur International Arts Festival 2018 director Datin Sunita Rajakumar said the photos and their stories were a way to connect and create a collective identity.
“Everybody has a role in this world, so do storytellers,” she said.
The exhibition’s most viralled photo story, with a total of 6.8 million views and 93,000 likes on social media, was about Peter Ding, 53, who worked as a chief operating officer and treated his subordinates poorly because of the demands of his job.
“I was not proud of what I did before, but I wanted to share the story with the public,” said Ding.
After his story went viral, he received many different reactions from the people, both positive and negative ones.
“Last week, a woman from Singapore came up to me. She thanked me for telling my story,” he said.
“Apparently, the woman was a victim of corporate bullying. When she read my story, she was glad she was not alone in the battle,” Ding added.
“We created HOKL to help people. We know there are people suffering out there but we do not know their stories,” said HOKL founder and curator Mushamir Mustafa.
“With a team of 12 storytellers here in HOKL, we write their stories and publish them on social media. Upon reading the stories, we hope people can learn and try to make social change,” he added.
Not just trying to make a change, the platform has also opened a window of opportunity to people out there who are willing to lend a helping hand.
The exhibition is being held until Sept 30 at Carcosa Seri Negara, from 9am to 8pm, daily.
For details, call 03-2166 0788 or visit www.diversecity.my