WRITER and social activist Niki Cheong is back again with another annual project, #KLectingStories, following the accomplishments of 50×50 My Malaysia, LimaPuluhTujuh, and #seedingMyHope. #KLectingStories is a Malaysian storytelling project supported by Kakiseni, AFOradio, APW Bangsar, RapidKL, and SocialGrooves.
#KLectingStories will be a compilation of stories on individuals who plays a significant role in society but have often been overlooked. This project is led by Niki Cheong along with eight young and talented collaborators from 2014’s LimaPuluhTujuh (Sara-Jane Har, Hafiz Norizan, Suemitraa Thiagarajan, Brandon John Lipaul, Nicole Allison, Belinda Soh, Dylan Tan and Zakiy Rahim) who spent 17 days between Hari Merdeka and Malaysia Day running around the streets of KL to collect stories from the people.
This year, we wanted to let the people, who might not always get a platform, to tell their stories — not just about their lives but the lives of KL-ites from their eyes.
— Niki Cheong
The stories collected come from folks like the newspaperman, fireman and train driver. In an article for The Star, Niki stated that he felt these individuals were often taken for granted even though they worked just as hard as we do to bring progress to the city.
I have written many times in this column about how the only way for a country to move forward is not only for people to come together, but to do that with the realisation that we all play a part, whether we know it or not.
Niki initiated the project by forming a team of storytellers. He strung together a diverse group of creatives back in late 2013 which included writers, photographers, bloggers, artists, designers, and even his former students to tell the stories you’ll see in #KLectingStories.
Cheong also hoped that through this project, people will be encouraged to step forward and chat with the heroes who work tirelessly behind the scenes. Perhaps we will be able to learn something from these not-so-ordinary Malaysian folk, who in turn might be able to take something from the experience.
After a special display at the Tea House at APW Bangsar from 15 – 18 September 2016 comprising photographs and the stories accompanying them, #KLectingStories went live on its website as of Friday.
Fellow Malaysians are also welcomed to share their own stories about these overlooked heroes through their writings and photographs via their social media with the #KLectingStories hashtag.