When art espouses politics…

loading Teater Bukan Teater performing Bilik Sulit.

Coerced on one side and coaxed on the other, young Malaysians find freedom in music and theatre.

University students used to be active in theatre clubs on their campuses. But all that ended during the 1970s. Students were no longer allowed to participate in politics; this limited their creative development but, happily, it led to theatres being started outside the universities.

This served as a catalyst for new political expression among Malaysia’s young people, and KL soon became the birthplace of many activists. Despite their diverse backgrounds, activists such as Mat Koy, Fathi Aris Omar, Rahmat Haron, and Jonah and Black (just to name a few) came together and formed Universiti Bangsar Utama (UBU). This was not a charity-based group but a protest against the unfairness and weaknesses in the Malaysian political system at the time.

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