Partner South East Asia was a series of online forums by the British Council providing participants with a better understanding and knowledge of the arts and culture ecosystems of SEA countries.

The Malaysia session offered a glimpse into the complexities and richness of Malaysia’s cultural mosaic. 
It also highlighted opportunities and strategies for future collaborations.

Jo Kukathas, Artistic Director of The Instant Café Theatre Company, hosted the session. Izan Satrina of the Creative Economy Development Agency (CENDANA), set the cultural landscape of Malaysia.

A panel discussion between three collaborators of SuperEverything* reflected on their experiences and hindsight.

The session concluded with a presentation of two reports commissioned by the British Council to identify opportunities and collaborations between the UK and Malaysia.


  • Jo Kukathas, Writer, Director and Actress and Co-founder of the Instant Café Theatre, Malaysia


  • Christopher Thomas Allen, Light Surgeons, UK
  • Pauline Fan, Director of George Town Literary Festival and Creative Director of Pusaka, Malaysia
  • Tom Fleming, Tom Fleming Creative Consultancy, UK
  • Jazreel Goh, Country Director Malaysia, British Council
  • Dr Ann Lee, Award winning playwright, writer, and researcher, Malaysia
  • Lee Jia Ping, Researcher, Malaysia
  • Ng Chor Guan, Artist and Co-founder of Toccata Studio, Malaysia
  • Izan Satrina, Chairwoman, Cendana, Malaysia

Highlights in Malaysia:

  • Ten years ago, the British Council commissioned The Light Surgeons to produce SuperEverything*. The live audio-visual performance explored Malaysia’s complex relationship between identity, ritual and place.  
  • Preceding the SuperEverything* anniversary album which will be launched in 2022, collaborators of the 2012 project gathered to review what has changed and what has not. They also discussed the strengths and challenges of Malaysia’s arts and culture sectors. 
  • Seventy-six per cent of organisations in the creative industry belong to the arts and culture sector.
  • Non-craft makers are concentrated in economically developed states while craft makers are mostly found in less developed states. 
  • Folk traditions are open to collaboration and innovation, with improvisation being a core aspect. 
  • When collaborating with Malaysia's arts sectors, it is important to co-design the project and pursue a mutual learning and benefit.  Being informed before starting a project in another country can be done by engaging cultural custodians and practitioners and reading its literature. 
  • The Malaysia Cultural Insights Report explored the complexity, diversity, depth and history of Malaysia’s arts and culture.  
  • Malaysia Cultural Cities Profile gave the audience a whistle-stop tour of eight cities.