Celebrating The Cooler Lumpur

Local creative media agency PopDigital has unveiled a multi-arts festival called The Cooler Lumpur, in an effort to bring Malaysians in literature, art, music and film together.

Held for the first time, Cooler Lumpur will be held from 21 until 23 June 2013 at Publika.

The name was inspired by Anthony Burgess' Malayan Trilogy. In his first book, Time for a Tiger, it is discovered that colonials had difficulty pronouncing "Kuala Lumpur" and would called it "Cooler Lumpur".

The idea was to aptly showcase Kuala Lumpur as not just "cool" yet "cooler", in a sense of its people doing great things with art, literature and culture.

Themed #Word, it aims to engage as many as 2,000 visitors from all walks of life with events catered for kids and adults.

There will be platforms for participants to engage in conversations and local writers to connect with the larger world of writing and to find new inspirations such as Poskod Journalism Campus, a one-day event for press and media to present ideas while creating debate through panel discussions.

Umapagan Ampikaipan, literature director for the festival, said literature and reading need to be engaged in meaningful ways and is crucial in progressing the society into the future.

"Over the last decade or so, the local writing scene has become incredibly vibrant. From the mushrooming of successful independent publishing houses to Malaysians making a name for themselves in the literary world (the likes of Tan Twan Eng, Tash Aw and Preeta Samarasan). Young Malaysians now have literary heroes to look up to. We want to celebrate this phenomenon," Leong Yin Peng, executive producer, The Cooler Lumpur Festival, told A+M.

Leong added that with this being the first of its kind, the team is taking it as a learning process as hopes that everything they have learned from attending and observing will translate to its audience.

Among the writers lined-up are A. Samad Said, Shamini Flint, Dain Said, Benjamin Markovits, Nicola Morgan, Rishi Reddi, and Dr. Ma Thida.

The celebration is promoted throughout June via its official media partners BFM, FZ.com and Poskod.my. and also prints ads on Financial Daily and on its official Facebook page.

In conjunction with the festival, local artisan ice cream brand The Last Polka introduced two new ice cream flavours at The Bee, Publika and also reading sessions from 50 Shades of Greyby Ampikaipakan and Ezra Zaid of Popdigital.

The Last Polka will also sponsor 50 cups of free ice creams for the Children's Tea Party, which is supported by Borders Malaysia. The tea party includes a storytelling session from local theatre groups to help children learn more about language in a fun way.

The campaign strategy and planning are done by The Greatest Hits, PopDigital's in-house creative digital agency, while PR is managed by Text100 and the British Council.