Celebrating confluence of cultures


  • Metro News
  • Friday, 12 Oct 2018

The Apom store offers local-made products with a Malaysian flavour. These include T-shirts and tote bags depicting street phrases and local personalities. — Photos: LOW BOON TAT/The Star

THE word “confluence” means “a coming together of people or things”.

But city folk may be more familiar with its other reference of “a flowing together of two or more streams”, as Kuala Lumpur was founded on the muddy confluence where the Sungai Klang and Sungai Gombak meet.

“The Confluence Festival 2018 reflects all these elements. It is a celebration of our unique heritage and diversity, an integration of people from all nationalities who live and work in Kuala Lumpur,” said Think City programme manager Eke Omardin.

The stall operated by Destination: Good by AirAsia Foundation offers handcrafted products and practical items from social enterprises around South-East Asia.
The stall operated by Destination: Good by AirAsia Foundation offers handcrafted products and practical items from social enterprises around South-East Asia.

“It is also related to the historical aspect of the city, and Medan Pasar as the first market area in Kuala Lumpur that was a hive of activities.”

Think City is organising the Confluence Festival, themed Diversity in Motion, at Medan Pasar from Oct 19 to 21, and 2 Hang Kasturi (2HK) from today to Oct 21.

“There will be stalls offering food, arts and crafts from Bangladesh, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, Palestine, the Philippines and Syria,” said Eke.

Eke holding a pouch from the Soggy No More collection, which are made from expired life jackets by a social enterprise of Afghan refugees in Kuala Lumpur.
Eke holding a pouch from the Soggy No More collection, which are made from expired life jackets by a social enterprise of Afghan refugees in Kuala Lumpur.

“There are also music shows and performances by over 20 troupes and individuals, as well as screenings of films from India and Malaysia, such as M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story, Phillauri and Ola Bola.”

She said the festival, held for the first time, offered an opportunity for people to learn and explore the cultures and stories of different communities and countries.

Besides Confluence Festival, Think City is also organising Celebrating Identity @ 2HK and an extension of its Laneways Project as part of the KUL Design Month in collaboration with Kuala Lumpur City Hall (DBKL).

Some of the interesting items available at The Apom store.
Some of the interesting items available at The Apom store.

“Celebrating Identity @ 2HK is themed We Design Kuala Lumpur, with a focus on the ‘we’ aspect,” said Eke.

“We want to showcase the many local talents that Malaysia has and highlight bits of the city that people may not know. The ultimate goal is to turn the city into a creative and culture space.”

The event is until Oct 21 across all five floors at 2HK’s building in Jalan Hang Kasturi.

The Confluence photo exhibition displays a series of photographs by National Geographic photographer Ian Teh documenting his journey along the Straits of Melaka.
The Confluence photo exhibition displays a series of photographs by National Geographic photographer Ian Teh documenting his journey along the Straits of Melaka.

There are bazaars, workshops, exhibitions, performances, dialogues, films and activities for people young and old to enjoy a unique experience together.

“Some highlights are the Confluence photo exhibition featuring visuals by National Geographic photographer Ian Teh, Dialogue in the Dark to experience downtown Kuala Lumpur as a blind person, and Pasar KUL bazaar showcasing unique items by designers, businesses and social enterprises across South-East Asia,” said Eke.

“We also have the Born in Malaysia photo exhibition by Kenny Loh depicting hidden stories of Kuala Lumpur and events by Yellow House, such as Free Market, No Waste Lifestyle Workshop and Unseen Tours that employs the homeless as tour guides around the city.”

The Born in Malaysia photo exhibition by Kenny Loh depicts the hidden stories of Kuala Lumpur. It will be held until Oct 21 at 2HK’s second floor.
The Born in Malaysia photo exhibition by Kenny Loh depicts the hidden stories of Kuala Lumpur. It will be held until Oct 21 at 2HK’s second floor.

On the Laneways Project, Eke said Think City embarked on the initiative last year with DBKL at Lorong Bandar 13 and would unveil its permanent upgrades soon.

“The next phase will focus on Lorong Sisi Yap Ah Loy, which will include a painting session on Oct 21,” she said.

“KL has unutilised spaces that provide seamless connectivity from one place to another. We want to activate them and make them more vibrant and safe for people to use.”

Admission to all events is free. For details, visit facebook.com/mythinkcity or instagram.com/mythinkcity


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