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CALENDAR OF EVENTS

August 2022
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IAACP and IMAP Inaugurated in Malaysia

Malaysia-2021-11-17-IAACP and IMAP Launched in Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur, MalaysiaUPF-Malaysia hosted its third "Peace Talks" webinar on "Unity through Arts, Culture and Heritage," on November 17, 2021, during which the national chapters of the International Association of Arts and Culture for Peace (IAACP) and the International Media Association for Peace (IMAP) were inaugurated. The virtual event was organized in collaboration with the National Academy of Arts, Culture, and Heritage (ASWARA) Malaysia; Sinar Harian; and the ASEAN Digital Art Society (ASEDAS). More than 250 people from 14 countries participated in the webinar via Zoom and social media. Simultaneous translation was conducted in Bahasa Indonesia to cater to 40 students from universities in Indonesia. 

UPF-Malaysia president, Mr. Sudesh G. Balasubramaniam, an assistant professor at USCI University in Kuala Lumpur, gave the welcoming remarks. “Across the world, people are beginning to look again at the links between the arts, culture and heritage to health, education and citizenship and more broadly its role in bringing harmony,” said Mr. Balasubramaniam.

The keynote remarks were given by UPF-Asia Pacific senior advisor, Dr. Robert Kittel, who explained how the IAACP and IMAP were founded with the purpose to address social issues, such as individualism, based on the principles of “interdependence, mutual prosperity and universal values.” 

In his special remarks, Mr. Lai Peng Keong, national liaison director of UPF-Malaysia, encouraged leaders from the arts and culture fields to come forward to share their ideas to promote peace and unity among the people as a “Malaysian family.” 

A panel discussion exploring the role the arts, culture and heritage play in fostering positive lifestyles and behaviors, moderated by Ms. Christine Chen, followed. 

Renowned local digital artist Mr. Ahamad Tarmizi Azizan, who is popularly known as “Atan AF” and is an associate professor at Universiti Malaysia Kelantanl, presented on the topic “Arts, Culture and Heritage for Unity.” He explained that art is not only for aesthetics, but is an expression of emotion and identity and a tool for communication which connects people together. As the founder of the ASEAN Digital Art Society, Mr. Tarmizi created the platform to unite painters and artists across nations through the expression of digital art.  

The second panelist, social anthropologist Dr. Sarjit S. Gill, a professor at Universiti Putra Malaysia, spoke about the role of community leaders in promoting national unity policy through the arts, culture and heritage. He highlighted that community leaders need to be proactive in engaging with the government and to empower youth to participate in cultural activities. Furthermore, NGO leaders as well as cultural and religious institutions should actively promote dialogue for the appreciation and understanding of different cultures. Finally, he proposed the setting up of digital museums to preserve Malaysian culture and build up Malaysian national identity.  

Representing the media was Datuk Muhammad Nasir Hamzah, deputy chairman of Karangkraf Media Group in Malaysia. The media veteran began his presentation with the famous quote by Edward Bulwer-Lytton, “The pen is mightier than the sword,” to emphasize the important role of the media as an agent of social change. He explained that the media must be free and independent in order to play a moderator’s role in resolving conflicts between people as well as promoting arts and culture for a peaceful world. 

The program also included a multicultural dance performance by ASWARA and a compilation of digital artworks by SENDI Studio and Gallery. 

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