This state-funded literary festival is championing freedom in Malaysia

Asia News
This state-funded literary festival is championing freedom in Malaysia

The George Town Literary Festival (GTLF) returns to Penang, Malaysia later this year, from 22-25 November.

Funded by the State Government of Penang and is produced by Penang Convention & Exhibition Bureau (PCEB). It will feature over 80 writers, poets, thinkers and performers from more than 20 countries.

The festival, which is celebrating its eighth edition this year, attracted more than 4,500 attendees in 2017, over the span of three days. As a result of this growth, GTLF and PCEB have expanded this year’s event to four days.

The theme for 2018 is ‘The State of Freedom’, a topic that resonates after Malaysia’s recent 14thgeneral election on May 9. It will recognise the 70thanniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Yeoh Soon Hin, Penang State Exco for Tourism Development, Heritage, Culture and Arts, said: “The George Town Literary Festival is the only literary festival in the country that is funded and supported by a state government.

“This world-class festival, which encourages discourse from the public in the spirit of freedom of expression, is only possible in Penang because of the State Government’s commitment to championing arts, culture and community engagement.”

The festival continues to be free and open to the public, and will feature panel discussions and a variety of activities in venues situated within the UNESCO George Town World Heritage Site.

Stuart Wood is a news reporter across the Mash Media editorial portfolio. He writes for CMW alongside sister publications Conference News, Exhibition News, Access All Areas and Exhibition World.

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