Thursday November 29, 2012
George Town festival snubs local literary talent
WHILE constantly preaching that the state always puts Penang and Penangites first, in practice it is quite the opposite.
The last two George Town festivals were bad enough with their emphasis on foreign imports, but the just completed George Town Literary Festival takes snubbing of local talent to a new level.
None of the writers headlining this three-day event were from Penang.
And this inspite of the wealth of literary talent in Penang that include the likes of Shahnon Ahmad, Kassim Ahmad, Zakaria Ali, Latiff Mohidin, Ghulam Sarwar Yusoff, Latiff Kamaluddin, Himanshu Bhatt and Cecil Rajendra who only last year did the island proud when he was the first writer honoured with a DIVA (Danish International Visiting Artiste) award by the Arts Council of Denmark.
But the story gets even worse when you realise that the festival curator, moderators and emcees were also all parachuted in from Kuala Lumpur.
Is Penang so culturally bankrupt that it cannot find one lecturer, teacher, actor or lay person capable of moderating a literary session?
And how long do you think Penangites are going to put up with these so-called George Town Festivals that have got nothing to do with the real history, culture and people of Penang?