Giant Leap Forward by Anurendra Jegadeva
Kevin Bathman is an independent curator, cultural activist and creative producer who is passionate about advancing social change through creativity to create long-term social transformation. With many years of experience as a Creative and Communications specialist, Kevin has led various creative activism projects using the creative arts as a catalyst for change. He devises platforms to showcase artists and changemakers who use their craft to enrich cultural identity, explore shared values and empower communities.
A Chevening scholar with an MA in Cultural Studies from Goldsmiths, Kevin has a keen interest in the exploration and study of diaspora and social movements, postcoloniality, climate justice and political art. https://about.me/kevinbathman
Anna Tan grew up in Malaysia, the country that is not Singapore. She writes fantastical stories and fairy tales, and has short stories included in various anthologies. She is also the editor of NutMag, an annual zine published for and by MYWriters Penang.
Anna has an MA in Creative Writing: The Novel under a Chevening scholarship and is the current President of the Malaysian Writers Society. She is interested in Malay/Nusantara and Chinese legends and folklore in exploring the intersection of language, culture, and faith. She can be found tweeting as @natzers and forgetting to update annatsp.com
Enbah Nilah is an educator-and-poet-in-progress who won the CEX Poetry Slam in Singapore (2016). She has performed in numerous poetry shows such as Iskarnival, the Cooler Lumpur Festival, Slamokrasi, If Walls Could Talk and university literary symposiums. Her works are published in Persephone’s Daughters literary magazine (NZ), the Dirty Thirty Anthology (AUS), and When I Say Spoken, You Say Word (MY).
In 2019, Enbah graduated with a distinction in MA Comparative Literature (Africa/Asia) from SOAS, University of London. More recently, she conducted a workshop called Developing Your Poetic Voice for the Chevening Writers Series in collaboration with MY Writers Society.
Bernard Chauly is an iconic Malaysian film director best known for making empowering films that capture the popular zeitgeist. He has taken his audiences from his hometown Ipoh to Istanbul, Cappadocia, Greece and Iran – many of his films have become cult classics.
Bernard arrived in ‘Cool Britannia’ on a Chevening Scholarship to study at Goldsmiths, directed ‘adam & steve’ as his graduation film and chose to travel back to Malaysia by train. A perpetual pilgrim who believes in purpose above profit, Bernard now calls Norfolk home but continues to support Southeast Asian stories.
In 2020, he trained in culinary arts at Ashburton Chefs Academy. And as UK Resident born in the Commonwealth, he was entitled to run in the 2021 UK local elections; Bernard ran as a Liberal Democrat.
Brenda Danker aims to empower and amplify the voices of the marginalised community for social change in her various roles as educator, media producer and researcher in Malaysia. She currently manages a film network focused on social justice, and mentors social documentary filmmakers through FreedomFilmFest Malaysia.
She has initiated participatory digital storytelling projects with Orang Asli youth to embolden them to share their seldom heard stories and struggles. She has conducted research in activism (specifically, visuals and digital media used in advocacy, and activism in university students), human rights film festivals, and the impact of technology in classroom teaching.
Ain Aqilah is an educator specialising in heritage education, family and school learning and community engagement. Her interest in ‘heritage and culture as national identity’ education started when she brought her History students to a local museum as a Teach For Malaysia Fellow.
She saw potential in museums to be a place for nation-building for youths and families. Since then, she has received formal education in MA Museums and Galleries in Education from University College London as a Chevening Scholar. She has also co-written a children’s guidebook on Islamic arts, available at Islamic Arts Museum Malaysia.
Natasha Joibi is a communications specialist and public writer with 8 years of combined experience in the media industry and civil society. She did her BA in Communication at Simon Fraser University, Canada. She developed a keen interest in human rights during her time as a journalist. When Natasha returned to Sabah after a decade of living away from home, she joined a women’s rights NGO.
The challenges she faced in advocating for equality inspired her to pursue a degree in human rights. She graduated with an MSc in Equality and Human Rights from the University of Glasgow under the Chevening scholarship. Natasha is currently with WWF-Malaysia.
Nisa M Aris is a humanitarian strategist, specifically in fundraising and community organising with over 10 years of demonstrated experience working and volunteering in Malaysia and Scotland. She is also a mental health practitioner with an education background in Psychology (MSc) and Counselling (MEd).
Currently serving as a mental health psychosocial support coordinator and trainer for Malaysian Red Crescent. She is also part of diversity, inclusion and interfaith associations.
Tan Su Lin is a media and communications professional with more than 10 years of experience in broadcast journalism. As CNN’s 2014 Journalism Fellow, she has won numerous awards throughout her career, with environmental and science-related topics as her areas of specialisation.
With a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from University Putra Malaysia (UPM) combined with her experience in journalism, Su Lin co-founded Science Media Centre (SMC) Malaysia in 2020 to champion the importance of effective science communication and evidence-based reporting.
A Chevening Alumni with an MA in Environment, Culture and Society from Lancaster University, UK, she aspires to increase the environmental journalism pool and bridge the science communication gap in Malaysia.
A former senior news journalist, Loshana K Shagar worked with The Star, Malaysia and produced episodes of the world-renowned BBC HARDtalk.
For over eight years, she covered many events of significant regional and international impact – from national elections and ASEAN summits to cross-border crises and world politics. Her strong news sense, in-depth research skills, and writing flair made for comprehensive analyses. After leaving journalism, she briefly worked in an NGO before joining the diligence sector to specialise in navigating complicated, cross-border issues.
A Chevening alumna, Loshana holds an MA in Global Journalism from the University of Sheffield, UK and a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of South Australia.
Yap Jo-yee is a development economist by trade and spends her time working on socioeconomic issues with others. She is particularly interested in how good value systems can be merged with good data to design better solutions.
Jo-yee graduated from University College London with a Masters in Economics. She has launched education and skilling initiatives for youths in London, and in Penang. Currently, she co-leads an upskilling programme for underprivileged teenagers.
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Project Future Malaysia wants to create conditions to guide an expansive vision of the future for Malaysia. This perspective will include a deeper engagement with science, technology and the various arts of literature, philosophy, film and music. By re-imagining and manifesting better alternatives for Malaysia’s future, we are freed from our everyday assumptions about what is possible. We can then imagine pathways forward which enable us to embrace bolder visions and hopeful possibilities for Malaysia’s future. If you resonate with the vision of this project, we invite you to grow and support this project via collaborations and conversations.
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