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Review of ‘Heritage Tree of Penang’ by S.K. Ganesan August 25, 2015 – Posted in: Excerpts, Reviews

The  Gardens’ Bulletin, Singapore Vol. 64(1 ) 2012 ISSN 0374-7859 Centenary Issue, Singapore Botanic Gardens pp. 271—272 BOOK REVIEW. Heritage Trees of Penang. Simon Gardner, Pindar Sidisunthorn & Lai Ee May. 2011. Penang, Malaysia: Areca Books. 27.3cm x 21.7cm, hardcover. 397pp. ISBN 978-967-5719-06-6. Price RM 100   This is a superb piece of work. The book weaves strands of history, botany, culture and the visual arts into a rich tapestry on the subject of the…

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Review of Sacred Spaces by Samina Quraeshi July 16, 2015 – Posted in: Reviews

Sacred Spaces: A Journey with the Sufis of the Indus, by Samina Quraeshi, Peabody Museum Press, 2009. 298 pp., 300 color illustrations. Review by Anna Bigelow, North Carolina State University, anna_bigelow@ncsu.edu Samina Quraeshi’s Sacred Spaces is a photo-essay pilgrimage through the culture of Sufi shrines in the Indus Valley region, encompassing both India and Pakistan. A visual artist, whose residency at Harvard brought her into the orbit of the doyenne of Sufi studies, Annemarie Schimmel…

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Snapshots of Globalization’s First Wave February 9, 2015 – Posted in: Reviews

By SUNIL S. AMRITHJAN. 10, 2014 Every weekend in 1979, Ooi Cheng Ghee took his Leica camera out to the docks of Penang, an island off the west coast of peninsular Malaysia. Mr. Ooi, a local physician of Chinese descent, roamed the working-class district of Georgetown to document life in the harbor. By year’s end, he had taken 4,000 portraits, mostly of first-and second-generation migrants from India. The photographs chronicle a vanishing world. You can…

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Living Landscapes, Connected Communities December 8, 2014 – Posted in: Reviews

How does an architect talk to an actor about something an activist does? How should a teacher exchange notes with a dancer? What if this is further complicated by them not speaking the same language? The challenges are many for someone putting together a book, but in the case of editor Justine Vaz, who co-edited Living Landscapes, Connected Communitieswith Narumol Aphinives, she says that it is “probably the most difficult thing” she has ever done. “I’m…

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Remembering days of fun in the sun October 14, 2014 – Posted in: In The News, Reviews

Sometimes, we have to look through another’s eyes to see something special in the ordinary. Reading the memoirs of John Michael Broome Hughes, especially the section devoted to his time in this country, one is transported into an era where a pair of observant eyes and a powerful pen can make history come alive. The memoirs of the last British headmaster of the Penang Free School (PFS), known as Mike to his friends, is not…

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Endorsement of Living Pathways by D. Paul Schafer, Director, World Culture Project: “A remarkable, beautiful, and very valuable book” May 26, 2014 – Posted in: Reviews

Living pathways: Meditations on sustainable cultures and cosmologies in Asia is a remarkable, beautiful, and very valuable book. As the author Manickam (Nat) Nadarajah points out, it can be enjoyed in many ways – visually, verbally, emotionally, and spiritually. All of these ways engage the reader and heighten his or her awareness of the importance, timeliness, and relevance of the book. Acting on the author’s advice, I leafed through the pages of the book in…

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Book Review: M. Nadarajah: Living Pathways – Posted in: Reviews

BOOK REVIEW M. Nadarajah: Living Pathways: Meditations on Sustainable Cultures and Cosmologies in Asia. Penang: Areca Books, 2013, xxi+153pp., ISBN978-967-5719-09-7 The first thing that struck me about this book, when it came to me for a review, is its visual appeal. It is layered with photographs and graphics which have, not so obvious, resonance with the themes and textual content of the book. It is pleasure to leaf through a book which has an excellent…

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“A new thing said in a new way”: Some comments on M. Nadarajah’s Living Pathways by Gaston Roberge – Posted in: Reviews

A new thing said in a new way Living Pathways, by Dr. Nadarajah Comments by Gaston Roberge, 12 April 2014 Living Pathways, the new (2013) book of our friend Dr. Nat, is new in at least four important ways: 1. The way it was created patiently involving hundreds of people. 2. The way it appears with images on nearly as many pages as the text. 3. The fact that images constitute a heart moving text…

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Reviews for Tulila: Muzik Bujukan Mandailing April 30, 2014 – Posted in: Reviews

Tulila: Muzik Bujukan Mandailing. Edi Nasution. Penang, Malaysia: Areca Books, 2007. xx + 180 pp., photographs, maps, figures, musical ex., bibliography, index. ISBN: 978-983-42834-4-5, RM35.00. Tulila: Muzik Bujukan Mandailing (Tulila: Mandailing seduction music) is Edi Nasution’s Indonesian-language study of markusip, a disappearing, late-night, rural courtship tradition among West Sumatra’s Mandailing. In markusip, a love-struck pemuda (young man) braves nocturnal risks of the jungle to sneak up to a young woman’s dormitory (bagas podoman), where he leans his shoulder against its…

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A Magnificently Rich Tome on Early Penang March 28, 2014 – Posted in: Reviews

Review by Ooi Kee Beng of Penang – The Fourth Presidency of India 1805-1830, Volume One: Ships, Men and Mansions  There are several questions about the history of Penang that have bothered me for quite a while, satisfactory responses to which cannot be found in any Malaysian schoolbook. This is not strange, given how the significance of Penang has been played down since independence for nationalistic reasons; and how national history has successively been caricatured to…

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