printing maps

Preparing to go to Kuala Lumpur this thursday for the BUKA JALAN performance event where I will be presenting a work and a talk.

Buka means ‘open’ and Jalan means ‘road’ in Bahasa Malaysia, and it presents yet another opportunity to chart a new path. ‘New’ as this is my first visit –  still in Asia and round the corner from Thailand (sharing a border) where I live, it is going to be an interesting experience nevertheless…

A recent headline: “Malaysia cancels concert by Iranian singer for insulting Islam”,iranian-singer-insulting-islam.html

“Kuala Lumpur – Malaysian authorities have cancelled an upcoming concert by Iranian singer Mohsen Namjoo for insulting Islam in his songs, officials said Wednesday.”

“”The government disallowed the concert because it was not appropriate in terms of religion, culture and the country’s cosmopolitan nature,” Information, Communication and Culture Minister Rais Yatim said late Tuesday.”

Well as I was aware of being careful and watching every step I took and every word I said when I spent time in Iran, I dont feel that I have to do the same when I visit Malaysia. Still, it is something to keep in mind – any thing can and often does ‘happen’ instinctively when one is in the midst of presenting a performance, so I must find a subtle way to push at the boundaries.

A work I had done back in the 90s jumps to my mind and I am toying with a new variation based on a book I play with in the performance. The book is called Manushastra, “The Laws of Manu”, Manu meaning ‘Man’ in the English language.

In “The Laws of Man”, the chapters that talk about a woman’s position as dictated by Hindu society attract my attention particularly. I think its relevant to bring this into the arena in KL – to address some of the established norms.


Varsha Nair / / Uncategorized / Permalink

About Varsha Nair

Born in Kampala/Uganda, Varsha Nair lives and works in Bangkok/Thailand. Her solo and collaborative works have been exhibited internationally, including at Buka Jalan Performance event/Kuala Lumpur, Beyond Pressure 2/Rangoon, Asiatopia/Bangkok, Open 10/Beijing, Performance Saga/Basel, Tate Modern/London, National Review of Live Art/Glasgow, Devi Art Foundation/New Delhi, Art In General/New York. She is co organiser of Womanifesto, Thailand and editorial board member of web-art journal Ctrl+P

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