Deborah Augustin

Deborah Augustin

Deborah Germaine Augustin is a writer trained in narrative fiction. During her MFA in creative writing, she discovered an affinity with the lyric essay and has been experimenting with the form ever since. She draws inspiration from Hilton Als, Leslie Jamison and Alexander Chee. Her work engages with migration, otherness, hybrid and postcolonial identity, the fantastic, and Southeast Asian myth.

In 2018, her lyric essay about immigration and racism in the United States was shortlisted for the Chautauqua Janus Prize and the Writers at Work competition in the nonfiction category. In 2019, she was admitted to the Orchids Without Attached Thighs writing workshop.

Since returning to Malaysia from the United States, she has taught creative writing and creative nonfiction at the university level. She has also taught and facilitated creative writing outside of academia.

During her 2-month residency, she will be working on creative nonfiction essays about family, truth, and monstrous femininity.

You can find out more about her works here or follow her on Twitter.

Afi Noor

Afi Noor

Afi Noor (b. 1990) is a poet based in Kuala Lumpur. She has read and performed in Singapore, London, and participated in 2016 Edinburgh Festival Fringe as part of KCL’s King’s Players. She ran Spill the Ink Poetry Lab, a monthly poetry workshop as part of SpeakCityAsia’s initiative, connecting established local and international writers with budding homegrown poets. Her poems are published in a chapbook called Ten Poems (2012) and featured in Kisah Journal by PUSAKA, Asian Centre Anthology of Malaysian Poetry in English, Rambutan Literary and When I Say Spoken, You Say Word Anthology.

Her current project, She Brings Monsoon aims to explore ways to capture the multifaceted essence of a Kelantanese Malay woman. By taking on the journey to dig through her own personal and shared narratives, rediscovering the vocabulary of the region, and grappling with the twists and turns between tradition and modernity, her poems took on the role to inform undocumented stories of hijabi and Kelantanese. These poems also try to investigate the possibilities – and limitations – constructed within the two languages: English and Kelantanese. These limitations will be further explored through body articulations as a performance poet. Her choice to don the hijab further enforces her artist statement – how much power does this cloth has, and can that power be depatriarchalized through unconventional states of the body?

Afi Noor is here for 2 weeks as a resident writer in our Southeast Asian Arts Residency program. She intends to use the time away from the city and familiar faces at Rimbun Dahan to write new writings related to her personal history. The natural surroundings and the visceral experience of staying in an actual kampung house may help her to be more aware of her senses and body as a Kelantanese Malay woman.

You may find more of her updates at her Instagram or the hashtag #afinoorwrites

 

Works: 

Sambal in Rambutan Literary (2017) https://www.rambutanliterary.com/issue-three-afi-noor—sambal.html

Mother Prepares the Ritual in Rambutan Literary (2017) https://www.rambutanliterary.com/issue-three-afi-noor—mother-prepares-the-ritual.html

 

 

 

Cheryl Salvador

Cheryl Salvador

Cheryl Salvador is a spoken word artist from the Philippines. She is part of White Wall Poetry, a collective of poets who aim to revolutionize and elevate this artform through writing workshops and open mic events. Some of her pieces were included in chapbooks such as “These Spaces,” “Banyo Chronicles,” and “In or Out.” Together with her group, she used to hold monthly writing workshops for those who want to try spoken word. She also organizes and performs at various events in the Philippines.

There’s poetry in tiny moments. It can be as ordinary as a crack in the sidewalk, as warm as a campfire, as bare as an empty street corner, or as marvelous as a sunset. They become fragments of memories and stories that are dying to be told. This is what I hope to capture as I make it a habit to attune myself to my surroundings, which has been a challenge for someone who lives in a busy city and a digital world where all sorts of distractions are just at the tips of my fingers.

My poetry has seen a lot of changing and evolving – from cheesy lines when I was just starting to write, to the exploration of trauma and healing as life forced me to grow up, and to pieces that speak of gender equality and human rights. At this stage, I’m experimenting with the fusion of prose poems and mobile photography to record split-of-a-second connections I make all around me; these, I realized, allow me to feel grounded in the moment. Spoken word poems accompanied by music as a form of storytelling are also in the pipeline to push myself out of my comfort zone.

The road to improving my craft is never-ending. I’m still finding and getting to know my own voice, who it was and what it wants to be. This residency at Rimbun Dahan is my opportunity to give myself the focus and time it desperately needs to do just that and to produce new works from all the inspirations I would get there.

Cheryl is our Southeast Asian Arts Residency artist this August 2019. You can find more of her work on Instagram.

Dipika Mukherjee

Dipika Mukherjee

Dipika Mukherjee (Malaysia) is an author and sociolinguist. Her work, focusing on the politics of modern Asian societies and diaspora, is internationally renown. In the past years, she has given a keynote at the Asia Pacific Writers and Translators Conference (Bali, 2017), juried at the Neustadt International Literary Festival (USA, 2018), spoken at the Hearth Festival (Wales, 2018) and the Singapore Writers Festival (Singapore, 2017); she has also given public talks at the University of Stockholm (Sweden, 2018) and the International Institute of Asian Studies (Netherlands, 2017).

I have a very personal stake in telling Malaysian stories, especially those that promote social justice. I believe that the growing intolerance of our world today (in Malaysia, India, and the US) requires voices to advocate for tolerance with stories that span our imperfect, violent world and not merely shine a light on a particular region or nation or race.

Ode to Broken Things, Dipika’s Man Asia Literary Prize-longlisted debut novel, is set against the religious and ethnic conflicts simmering in politics and explores notions of nationalism and citizenship in Malaysia.

During her residency here at Rimbun Dahan, Dipika will be conducting a workshop called A Picture; A Thousand Words. Reviewing ekphrasis (the art of writing about images), this workshop will look at how art has inspired writers in the past by focusing on writing inspired by paintings and imagery. Then participants will review a number of Malaysian visual art on display at the Rimbun Dahan gallery to write poems and short prose. All writing levels welcome.

 

Dương Mạnh Hùng

Dương Mạnh Hùng

Dương Mạnh Hùng (b.1991) is a self-taught translator, writer, and independent visual culture researcher based in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon), Vietnam. Dương has always been fascinated by the discourse of modernities and nationalism in Southeast Asia and how it influences modern arts and literature stemming from the region. His current interests include, but are not limited to: comparative dialogue between Southeast Asian modern arts and literature; translation as a mode of existing and understanding for visual production; Hispanic & Iberian linguistics; and historical and sociopolitical networks between Vietnam and the regions of Southeast Asia and Latin America. Dương is also one of the co-founders of Cultural Community Discourse (CCD), an initiative based in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) that aims to connect local and regional researchers to the Vietnamese public via talks, workshops, and other educational platforms.

During his one-month residency at Rimbun Dahan, Dương wants to explore the concept of ‘landscape’ as depicted in 19th-20th century Malaysian literature and painting and how ‘nationalistic’ natural landscape becomes a mixing space for different forms of modernity in the peninsular.

Clara Chow

Clara Chow

Clara Chow (Singapore) is the author of two short-story collections: Dream Storeys (2016) and Modern Myths (2018). The former was born out of interviews with Singapore architects about their imaginary buildings, while the latter reworks Greek myths in Singaporean settings.

Her work has also been published in the likes of Columbia Journal, Asia Literary Review, Cha, Litro and Quarterly Literary Review Singapore (QLRS). In 2018, she was awarded Prairie Schooner‘s Jane Geske Award for her story “Siren (Redux) by Haley Tien-Warrior – 25th Anniversary Oral History/DJ Cliffhanger Remix – MUST LISTEN! THE FEELS…Awesome…”.

A former journalist and arts correspondent, she has taught creative writing at Nanyang Technological University and English literature at the Singapore University of Social Studies. She co-founded the online literary and art journal WeAreAWebsite.com in 2015. 

Clara is a writer in our Southeast Asian Arts Residency program of 2018. At Rimbun Dahan, she is working on a joss-paper novel, meant to be burnt after reading. The work will explore taboos associated with book-burning, funeral rituals and Asian superstition.

Links to stories online:

“Bare Bones”

http://columbiajournal.org/fiction-by-clara-chow-bare-bones/

Excerpt from “The Wheel”

https://www.asiancha.com/content/view/3385/692/

Excerpt from “Siren (Redux)…”

https://muse.jhu.edu/article/686564/pdf

Lily Yulianti Farid

Lily Yulianti Farid

Lily Yulianti Farid is a media, communication and gender & development specialist, researcher, trainer and translator with more than 15 years of experience in Indonesia, Japan and Australia. Lily has worked as a communication specialist, writer, radio journalist, producer, presenter, translator and interpreter (English – Indonesian Language). She holds a PhD in Gender studies at the University of Melbourne through an Australian Leadership Award scholarship. She is the founder/director of Makassar International Writers Festival in Indonesia and the co-founder of Indonesia’s first citizen journalism website. Lily has led media and communications training and capacity building workshops for Members of Parliament, government officials, Indonesian journalists, and community organisations, and has extensive experience designing media campaigns and engagement strategies for Indonesian women’s organisations. She is a professional translator and interpreter (Indonesian/English). In 2013 she translated Anita Roddick’s Book, Business as Unusual from English to Indonesia. Roddick is the founder of the Body Shop and a pioneer of social-entrepreneurship. She also produced monologue/play for women and produced Singing Your Poetry Program for youth in Indonesia.

Since 2011, Lily is the founder and director of Makassar International Writers Festival, co-founder and executive director of Rumata’ Artspace Indonesia, executive producer of Makassar South East Asian Film Academy, the producer for INDONATION (2011), Charity Concert in Melbourne in association with Indonesian Students Association, Deakin University.

Lily participated at Ubud Writers and Readers Festival (2008-2013), Singapore Writers Festival (2009), Word Storm Writers Festival Darwin (2010), Byron Bay Writers Festival Australia (2012), Melbourne Writers Festival (2013 and 2017), British Council Edinbrugh Festival (2016), Frankfurt Book Fair (2015), Europhalia Arts Festival (2017), George Town Literary Festival (2014), Indonesian International Book Fair Festival (2017), Winternachten Festival (2009), Pasar Malam Paris (2008).

Lily will be at Rimbun Dahan for one month under our Southeast Asian Arts Residency program. She is working to document and examine narratives and creative works in Malaysia and to interview Malaysian writers, publishers and literary communities during her residency.

Dhiyanah Hassan

Dhiyanah Hassan

Dhiyanah Hassan (b. 1989) is a full-time artist and writer whose works seek to map out the terrains between memory and healing. She explores how art, poetry, and storytelling are used to reclaim a sense of selfhood in the aftermath of trauma.

“Language forms our worlds. In the event of conflict or trauma, these worlds are held under siege by things beyond ordinary grammar. We kick so as not to sink. We build coping mechanisms to keep us afloat. We find other ways to speak, to scream, to not remain silent. We keep telling our stories.”

from 2016 Artist’s Statement

Dhiyanah spent a decade in between countries before returning to Malaysia with a Bachelor of Arts (Fine Art) from RMIT, Australia. While working on her studio project, she freelances as an illustrator and editor. Her writing has appeared in BACCARAT Malaysia, Star2, and Burning House Press. She performed at Georgetown Literary Festival 2016 and has created the cover art for two books so far – Wolf at the Door by J. Damask (Gerakbudaya, 2016) and All the Bodies We’ve Embraced by Sheena Baharudin (Perfect Binding, 2017).

For her stay at Rimbun Dahan, Dhiyanah will be extending on her investigation of the body’s relationship to water – how the sensation of swimming, floating, or moving underwater relates back to the act of remembering (or forgetting). Her project, ‘Swimming Pool,’ is a memoir-building process that combines visual art with writing, and will hopefully culminate into an art book in the future.

Find out more about Dhiyanah’s work on her website and Instagram.

John Mateer

John Mateer

 

 

John Mateer is a poet, writer and curator. He has published books in Australia, the UK, Austria and Portugal, and the prose Semar’s Cave: an Indonesian Journal and The Quiet Slave. His most recent book of poems is Unbelievers, or ‘The Moor’. With the Cocos Malay community, he wrote an account of the settlement of the Cocos-Keeling Islands for a sound installation. During his residency at Hotel Penaga he will research the historical encounters between the Malay peoples and the Asian and European traders; focusing on the peripheral, Asian characters in the 17th century epic The Conquest of Malacca.

 

 

Following my previous projects related to European colonial encounters in Asia, foremost Southern Barbarians and Unbelievers, or ‘The Moor’, I have become interested in investigating the canonical texts of those encounters to see what understanding the explorers had of the local cultures. Often they disguised their knowledge and their
surprising sympathies. I have mostly looked to Portuguese accounts, the most famous of which are Fernão Mendes Pinto’s prose Peregrinaçam and the earlier epic poem, Os Lusiadas, by Luis vas de Camões. The latter is not only the subject of poems in Southern Barbarians, but also of The Bones of the Epic, my project with the Lisbon puppet-master Delfim Miranda and
art-noise ensemble A Favola da Madusa.

Now, after researching the slave-trade in South-east Asia as it influenced the forebears of the Cocos Malays who lived first in Malacca in the early 19th Century, I would like to write a long poem based on the Asian figures who appear in the periphery of a now largely forgotten Portuguese epic, Francisco de Sá de Meneses’ The Conquest of Malacca. These include the ‘kings’ of Sumatra, Malacca and Korea, and other characters from Cathay and Siam.

Due to my recent engagement with translation and sound production, even though the long poems will be written as in English, I aim to have it translated into both Malay and Portuguese, and produced, ultimately, either as a performance or multi-media work. I have started discussions about this with translators and others in Portugal, Singapore and Malaysia.

John was a resident artist in Hotel Penaga from December 2016 to end January 2017, supported by Asialink.

Awards:

  • Shortlisted for the Inaugural Prime Minister’s Award for Poetry, and for the Victorian and New South Wales Premier’s prizes for poetry. 2012
  • Centenary Medal for my “contribution to Australian culture and society”. 2003
  • Victorian Premier’s Prize for Poetry. 2001

Ineza Roussille

Ineza Roussille

Ineza Roussille

Ineza Roussille is an independent documentary filmmaker from Malaysia. She’s produced videos for local NGOs on various social issues. These include videos for Yayasan Chow Kit on street children, for the Joint Action Group for Gender Equality (JAG), a coalition of local feminist civil society organisations, on the importance of women’s participation in the elections (Undi Anda, Suara Anda), a series for PT Foundation on People Living with HIV (PLHIV), and for UNICEF on children’s rights in Malaysia. Currently Ineza is working on an ongoing campaign called I Am You: Be A Trans Ally, which aims to raise awareness on the issues of the Transgender community in Malaysia, and complement the efforts regarding the recent judicial challenge against laws that infringed on the rights of the Trans* community.

Other than her documentary work, she has also worked on several creative side projects, including a short film entitled Blackbird, and a mockumentary on lesbians in KL entitled, Angmo & Amoi. Angmo & Amoi has been screened at various queer film festivals including in Manila, Philippines, Jakarta, Indonesia, and Austin, Texas in the USA. She recently won first prize for the PLHIV series at the Red Ribbon Short Film competition, organized by the Malaysian AIDS Council.

She’ll be in residency at Rimbun Dahan for January 2016 to work on a memoir project to explore the story of her father’s life, which may be turned into a graphic novel further down the line.

“As fulfilling as my journey into video activism has been, I feel like I need to step away from the camera and focus more on my writing. My father passed away in March this year, and while clearing out his apartment, I realized I was surrounded by his life story. From the primary school report cards that he kept, to the disgustingly smoke stained walls of his apartment, the visuals in that space painted a picture of him I knew so well, and yet did not understand at all. I realized I needed to write his story, from the perspective of the only person who had the experience of being his child. In writing his story, I hope to allow myself the space to personally grieve his loss, and at the same time produce a story that would make him proud.”