The Cooler Lumpur Festival Launches Recreate: The Cultural And Creative Industry In The Age Of Sustainable Development

Kuala Lumpur, 14 December 2021 – The Cooler Lumpur Festival launches “Recreate: The Cultural and Creative Industry in the age of Sustainable Development” – a report that explores how Malaysia’s cultural and creative industries (CCI) can rethink their approach when producing creative works and the increasing importance of addressing sustainable development in their creative outputs. The report serves as an essential read for government ministries, associations and practitioners seeking to explore new opportunities to present cultural and creative works as the world moves forward from a pandemic to an endemic phase.

The report covers:

  1. The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the CCI in Malaysia
  2. The importance of aligning the CCI against the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals
  3. Critical areas for recovery including new and untapped audiences, new pathways for collaboration, building creative cities and venturing into other potential areas including NFTs and arts education
  4. Case studies of cultural and creative outputs borne out of the COVID-19 pandemic from around the globe

“As a strong supporter of the CCI in Malaysia, The Cooler Lumpur Festival has long stood for the advancement of the sector. The COVID-19 pandemic has only just sped up the process. With this evidence-based and insight-driven report, our aim is to encourage the relevant stakeholders within the CCI to rethink their approach and showcase where the potentials lie, especially in regards to sustainable development. I’m incredibly grateful to some of our long-time festival partners – British Council Malaysia and Goethe-Institut Malaysia; the National Arts Council of Singapore and all our contributors for sharing their thoughts and input within this report. We would also like to thank the Cultural Economy Development Agency or in short, CENDANA who have enabled and supported us to publish this report that can serve as an action plan for the CCI. Our hope is that we work towards exploring new ideas, new executions and ultimately unearth new potentials so we can leapfrog the CCI to be ahead of its time,” said Hardesh Singh, Creative Director of The Cooler Lumpur Festival.

The CCI were severely impacted by the pandemic with many practitioners being forced into unemployment and salary reductions. The gross domestic product (GDP) contribution for the creative industry recorded a stagnant growth rate of 1.9% from 2015 to 2019 but then saw a rapid decrease from 2020 to 2021. The report identifies that these decreasing rates require a bold and proactive approach for the Malaysian cultural and creative sectors to prevent COVID-19 from further aggravating the challenges faced by relevant communities.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has affected multiple industries in various ways, however, more noticeably is how it has affected the arts, culture and creative industry, which are the focus of this study. As significant efforts have been made to restore our country’s economy and revive impacted industries, CENDANA also has an important role for stabilising and growing the sector in ensuring a more sustainable future for the affected Cultural and Creative Industries. We take pride in being proactive and innovative in our approach and are pleased to support The Cooler Lumpur Festival in their efforts to study and evaluate the impact of the pandemic while uncovering new strategies so we can continue to plan how we navigate our paths forward for a more viable future for the CCI,” said Izan Satrina Mohd Sallehuddin, founding CEO of CENDANA.

A focal point within the report includes the correlation between the creative economy and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) which are 17 interconnected goals designed by the United Nations to achieve a better and more sustainable future. As many industries and countries have adopted the Sustainable Development Goals as their guiding principle for post-COVID-19 economic recovery policies, similarly, the report strategically pairs specific goals to relevant case studies and the critical areas of recovery as it aims to explore opportunities to create more resilient and sustainable paths moving forward.

The report also notes the importance of digital transformation and technological advancements for the recovery of the creative industry. It further demonstrates that with the right support to empower the local cultural and creative industry to explore the digital avenues available and apply advanced technology into their art, there is opportunity to open up access to new audiences from various walks of life.

“A resilient creative industry must always be innovative and proactive, in terms of technology, management, funding, production and evaluation. This is especially relevant in the case of Malaysia where most individuals and organisations in the creative community are under-capitalized and under-managed,” expressed Dr. Markus Litz, Director of Goethe-Institut Malaysia.

This project is supported by MyCreative Ventures, Cultural Economy Development Agency (CENDANA) and PENJANA (Pelan Jana Semula Ekonomi Negara) and Goethe-Institut Malaysia.

For the full report, check out

For more information, follow The Cooler Lumpur Festival on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn @CoolerLumpur.

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