We were playing at a place called HOOFED, kind of funny in a way, Rizal is Muslim and Malaysia is primarily a Muslim country, and we were doing a fundraiser performance night at a bar café, that served bacon, pigs ribs, crackling and most notably whole spit roast pigs complete with apple in mouth! We arrived and walked up the hall to the entry of the bar followed every step by pigs with wings lining the walls, the place is electric, with a brick curved roof that made you feel like you were in a train tunnel underground, candle lighting and lush leather seating… yes definitely a very different place for us to be performing. But it was out of our hands now, and hey if we fundraised money for these workshops at the children’s homes, no need to care about who comes along.
Rizal was doing sound check and I began to set up my t-shirt making area, I was doing drawings on white tops with these crayons that you heat and they permanently stain the cloth, it was a hilarious sight being in such a fancy bar and ironing t-shirts, something that I avoid in normal life. People began arriving at about 8, the bar was donating a percentage of money from the cocktails and they also gave us a keg. To sell a whole kegs worth of beer was our mission, and it was more than simple to achieve.
It was a successful evening and we made a lot of money, but it was the most difficult fundraising event that I’ve ever been a part of. The bar was full of obnoxious drunk dickheads, and none of the people that came seemed to really even give a shit about what the event was organised for, only few listened to Rizal playing music, and im sure that they all thought I was a bit of a weirdoooo hiding in the corner drawing on white tshirts and ironing (as anyone probably would)
There was no talking, discussion or interest about the issue at hand, and it actually made me really frustrated, giving me that “I’ve sold out” gut feeling. But I hadn’t, it was just such a different environment, and it became kind of depressing comparing how easy it was to fundraise money amongst indifferent wealthy drunk people and how difficult it is to fundraise money amongst the typical compassionate (drunk) activist community. AAhhhh but maybe I’m just being cynical, I don’t know, but I do know that I would rather have had a good 3 hour discussion with all these people and used money out of my own pocket for these workshops at the orphanages than use their drunk disposable cash… yes im definitely being cynical.
The workshops! The three orphanages we were doing workshops at existed all around Kuala Lumpur, the children seemed to be typically Chinese or Tamil, coming from families that could no longer support bringing them up, or as migrants. They were all so beautiful, loving and energetic. We did a tshirt drawing workshop, where the topic was nature, finding leaves and flowers in the garden or drawing ones own imaginary forest or farm. Following this Rizal did a workshop where the children created a song and the melody to go along with it. Writing one word each then stringing them into a sentence to create a poem, here too the theme was nature. We did these workshops in collaboration with Amy and Ladia from permaculture Perak, and Alisha and Zia Zia, the girls that organised it all, so there were a lot of people to help out during these enjoyable days.
Here are some photos of the beautiful children we got to create with over the week.