Krishen Jit Fund 2021 Doubles Support for the Arts, Announces 11 Beneficiaries

Gogularaajan Rajendran, a filmmaker, always heard his grandparents tell rich stories about estate life in Malaysia in the 1960s. What bothered him was the fact that he had never seen such stories. depicted in local films.

“During all this time, the plantation stories have focused only on the struggles of the people. But there is more to it. I believe we missed out on the life, joys and humor of the Malaysian Indian communities who lived on the plantations. I’m curious about the many rich and nuanced stories that exist. I plan to interview 50 people over 60 from five different fields as part of a documentary film and research project for my next feature film KaaliSays Gogu, as he is affectionately known.

Gogu was one of the grantees who received this year’s Krishen Jit Fund at a ceremony held at Reka-Reka at GMBB in Kuala Lumpur on November 25. The fund is supported by the Astro and Creador Foundation, managed by Five Arts Center.

An unprecedented number of 11 scholarships has been awarded to artists and cultural workers to carry out their creative projects. This is in recognition of the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and the increased contribution of the Creator Foundation and Astro.

“The fund will help pay a small amount to each of my interviewees as a thank you. I plan to stay with them for two weeks to put these stories together, ”said Gogu, who received a grant of RM8,000.

He intends to finish the documentary film Life on the plantations: as it was by the end of 2022 then enter the documentary film circuits in 2023 before starting to work on Kaali.

Support the resumption of the arts

This year’s Krishen Jit Fund distributed a total of RM86,000. The other recipients were Anthony Chong, Jeffrey Lim, FLUX28 Studio, Izat Arif, Rezza Coebar Abel, Fraulina Tajuddin, Syamsul Azhar, Arief Hamizan, Susan Philip and Komeil Zarin.

They were selected from a list of 77 applicants to continue their projects and research work spanning dance, theater, film, video, music, training, language and interdisciplinary work.

Despite the pandemic situation and the difficult times on the artistic scene, this year also marked the highest number of recipients in the history of the fund (which has between three and five recipients per year).

“The Krishen Jit Fund is 16 years old. It is quite remarkable. And it is perhaps quite unusual … for an independent fund to have lasted this long. But this is possible for two things. Support from funders who believe in the fund and think it is a good way to support artists and the ability and desire of Five Arts to continue working there. In the climate we live in, funds like these are very important, ”says Marion D’Cruz, co-founder of the Five Arts Center and manager of the Krishen Jit Fund.

“I personally know artists who have been doing odd jobs since the pandemic. This now allows artists to still be able to do work, to pay their people a little and allow them not to give up, ”she adds.

The head of the deaf community, Dr Anthony Chong, received 10,000 RM for the Malaysian Sign Language (BMI) Literature Workshop.

The project, which involves 18 deaf Malaysian participants from KL, Selangor, Johor Baru, Sabah and Sarawak, plans to expand the reach of BIM literature in various forms, including poetry, drama and folktales.

“As part of this workshop, we are currently running virtual lessons for our participants. We used deaf facilitators to train them in using their facial expressions, emotions and BIM to create a deaf poem that will be released online in March 2022. This will also be recorded and kept as a resource, ”Chong explains with the help of an interpreter.

Lim, artist photographer and cycling advocate, received 10,000 RM for Khemah Kamera, a project to build an instant camera for a mobile canopy tent and explore the possibilities of live projection in the tent.

His new initiative combines imagery, projection and other photographic processes with performative elements.

Izat, a contemporary artist, received RM 9,000 for an upcoming hybrid exhibition featuring an immersive installation that explores the potential of reflective materials, spatial settings and audience participation.

The Iranian artist based in KL Komeil received RM4,000 for 30 portraits in exile. Thirty refugees and migrants will sit down for the artist over the next three months to paint their portraits, culminating in an exhibition, art book and video documentary project.

The Krishen Jit Fund awarded a total of 68 grants amounting to RM 489,000 between 2006 and 2020. The fund was introduced by Astro in 2006 with Five Arts Center.

Krishen Jit, theater and performing arts icon and co-founder of the Five Arts Center, who died of a stroke in 2005 at the age of 65, has had a tremendous influence on the development of Malaysian theater for more than four decades.

More info here.

About Pamela Boon

Check Also

KMC to name park after Hazrat Salman Farsi on 75th anniversary of Pak-Iran relations

Karachi Administrator Lawyer Murtaza Wahab on Friday approved two Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC) resolutions requesting …