KataKatha is a newly conceived and formative regional arts and culture initiative by Maybank Kim Eng, supported by Maybank Foundation. It was launched on 12 November 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, during a four-day event celebrating the Southeast Asia’s arts and culture.
KataKatha is a cross-cultural collaboration involving 5 countries – Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Indonesia and the Philippines. It brings together 10 principal cultural figures and artists from the participating countries to participate in a series of conversations to explore the commonalities of ASEAN.
KataKatha aspires to create dialogue and creative interaction among public intellectuals, artists, students and communities, providing a platform for the exploration of ASEAN’s cultural commonalities.
For the inaugural conversation, the theme was ‘Shared History, Shared Culture, Shared Traditions’.
You can read a report by participant Syar S. Alia on the first KataKatha conversation
KataKatha aspires to create a meaningful interaction of encounter and dialogue among established and emerging regional practitioners of culture and the arts while exploring shared experiences that enhance a common Southeast Asian artistic, cultural and intellectual experience.
KataKatha hopes to provide a platform, long ignored, for the exploration of cultural commonalities through the arts, rooted in the perspective of a shared regional history. We also hope that this will serve as a catalyst for a sustained deliberation of ideas and themes relating to Southeast Asian public and cultural life, and to document, institutionalise and create an archive of creative thought and work that encompasses the region, as a means of consolidating a regional cultural identity.
The main message for the inaugural KataKatha – Southeast Asian Conversations on Culture and the Arts is: “Encountering our history, imagining our future.”