Issue 8-9

Literature and Contemporary Philippine Politics

      In December 1958, almost 57 years ago, about a hundred of the leading writers of the Philippines went up to the resort city of Baguio in the northern highlands to attend a conference sponsored by the Philippine Center of International PEN. They mostly met among themselves – the event was, after all, billed as the National Writers Conference – but they were also visited and spoken [...]

Singing Islamic Modernity: Recreating Nasyid in Malaysia

       Since the opposition Party Islam Se Malaysia (PAS, Islamic Party of Malaysia) took over the state government in Kelantan in 1990, it has deemed as un-Islamic and banned public performances of traditional theater such as wayang kulit (shadow puppet) and makyong (a form of Malay theatre), as well as rock concerts. For orthodox Muslims, traditional theater forms are haram (forbidden) [...]