Monday April 30, 2007
Highlighting press freedom through the arts
By CHARLES FERNANDEZ
WORLD Press Freedom Day (WPFD) will be celebrated at Central Market on May 5 and 6 and the public can learn about press freedom and freedom of expression through the arts.
This year’s event, themed Saving Journalists, will feature theatre performances, workshops, poetry readings, film screenings and music performances.
“We hope to create awareness about the importance of protecting journalists and the media through arts,” said Centre of Independent Journalism (CIJ) executive director Sonia Randhawa.
CIJ is organising the event, which is celebrated annually on May 3, with Malaysiakini.com and Troubadours KL while Central Market and its Annexe are the venue hosts.
Awareness poster: (From left) Sonia, Tan, See Tho and Phoon Chi Ho having a look at posters promoting the event.
CIJ, which started in 2001, is a media organisation that aims to improve current Malaysian journalism practices and independence through advocacy, research and analysis, training and practical work.
Sonia added that often people feel isolated from media freedom issues and do not see how it affects their lives and, by using the arts, people can experience the connection.
Performers like Shanon Shah, Azmyl Yunor, Tan Sei Hon, Pak Pandir, Carburetor Dung, Modar and RS Murthi, with his new band Kamasutra, will provide the platform for the public to experience the connection.
Comeback Kings from Taylor’s College and a theatre team from the Kajang Cultural Group and the Komuniti Anak Seni Kampung Berembang will provide the opening acts during the two-day event.
Cartoonist Zunar will have a session at the Annexe to talk about critical cartoons while children can attend an art and DIY workshop organized by katagender.
Malaysiakini business development manager See Tho Chee Seong said the public is free to choose not only the media as their channel to convey their opinion but they can also transform their views and feelings through other mediums.
WPFD was declared by UNESCO in 1993 to promote press freedom around the globe.