PUSAKA is a cultural organisation that works intimately with the leading custodians of ritual and traditional performing arts in Malaysia and the region. PUSAKA is dedicated to creating a comprehensive documentary archive of traditional performing arts in Malaysia, while strengthening the viability of these traditions at the community level. We revitalise cultural traditions through organising regular performances and youth instruction projects in local communities, ensuring the transmission of these traditions to a succeeding generation.
PUSAKA creates alternative performance platforms and curates festivals that allow urban audiences to engage and interact with Malaysian history and heritage, culture and literature. We work closely with international partners to present authentic Malaysian performance traditions at cultural festivals and programmes abroad. PUSAKA is privileged to work with some of the most eminent local, regional and international masters of tradition, creating new platforms for engagement and creative exploration. In all its work, PUSAKA seeks to provide an intellectual context for the contemplation of broader aspects of culture, tradition and ideas.
PUSAKA's current programme activities centre on five areas:
1. Cultural Revitalisation and Performance Viability
To revitalise and enhance the viability of traditional performance in Malaysia through organising regular performances at the community level throughout the country, ensuring the authenticity of how these cultural traditions are practised. To nuture and develop local cultural knowledge as a valuable cultural asset.
2. Local Instruction and Youth Engagement
Working closely with masters of tradition within local communities to plan, coordinate and conduct instruction programmes, to encourage the transmission of traditional performance genres to a succeeding generation of performers. Empowering local youth to rediscover, reclaim, and actively participate in their cultural heritage.
3. Documentation and Cultural Mapping
Documentation and cultural mapping of traditional performing arts communities in Malaysia, delving into historical, social, cultural as well as performance aspects of each tradition. Archival documentation – video, audio, photography and written transcripts of performances and interviews – for dissemination to local and international universities and cultural institutions.
4. Public Education
To raise public awareness at the national, regional and international levels through the organising of regular performances, talks, workshops and discussions in various locations which are free and open to all. To provide an intellectual context, through writing and public conversations, for the understanding of culture in Malaysia.
5. Creative Engagement and Exploration
Curation of festivals, performances, exhibitions and forums that open new platforms for the engagement and exploration of traditional and contemporary culture. To encourage knowledge exchange and creative collaboration among performers from diverse communities within Malaysia and beyond.