Making Malaysia’s literary capital work

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Organising a literary festival is no easy task, especially when you’ve only got five months to do it. But passion and determination drove one man and his team to pull it off – and very successfully.

Umapagan Ampikaipakan is no stranger to organising festivals. Having directed Cooler Lumpur – South-East Asia’s first festival of ideas – for the past two years, he recently curated the fourth George Town Literary Festival (GTLF) held in November this year. Over the three-day festival, literary greats and fledgling writers from both home and abroad delivered talks and workshops, stirring up conversations that were profound, penetrating and often also light-hearted. But perhaps what’s more important, the festival reached out to the public about how literature is accessible and how it is not something confined to musty thick libraries or coffee-infused hipster spaces. Anyone can enjoy literature.

 


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