Introducing DEMO: An Oral History of Malaysian Protests

Demo: An Oral History of Protests in Malaysia (2007-2022)

Malaysian democracy faces a new challenge: many of the six million newly emancipated voters – following constitutional amendments that lowered the voting age to 18 years old and automatically register eligible voters – have no shared experience or collective memory of past democratic protests and evolving social movements. In the absence of participatory democracy that meaningfully educates and empowers them,  many voters are left to passively consume hateful ethnic and religious content on social media channels that pose a risk to democratic backsliding and contribute to political polarization, as seen in the last 15th General Election.

To spread awareness and knowledge of participatory democracy, DEMO: A People’s History of Protests in Malaysia, 2007-2022 is conceived as a public intervention to reignite democratic values via documentation of and engagement with the lived experience of social movement activists and protest participants. The project outputs will consist of interviews, essays, walking tours, workshops, audio and video archive and publications.

The project is in collaboration with Zikri Rahman, a program coordinator of Pusat Sejarah Rakyat (People’s History Centre), an independent people’s history archive of Malaysia & Singapore as well as Jeremy Lim, the secretary and project coordinator for Imagined Malaysia, working on the history of capitalism and popular movements in Malaysia and Southeast Asia.

For more info about DEMO and other Democracy Discourse Series Projects, visit: 

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