Culture and Kuching: how creative communities and cities shape each other


Cities and creative communities create a virtuous cycle via cultural activities, entrepreneurship, collaboration and tourism. Cities around the world are positioning themselves as the next creative hub, as shown in this photo essay on Kuching.

PhotoSparks is a weekly feature from YourStory, with photographs that celebrate the spirit of creativity and innovation. In this edition, we feature some of the creative highlights from Kuching in Malaysia, including the Kuching Waterfront Jazz Festival, 'What about Kuching' festival, and Kuching Intercultural Mooncake Festival.

In the earlier 160 posts, we brought you a wide range of creative photographs from a cartoon gallery. world music festival, telecom expo, art gallery, climate change expo, street art festival, wildlife conference, startup festival, Diwali rangoli, Vesak, millets fair, and jazz festival.

Kuching, the capital of Malaysia’s Sarawak province on the island of Borneo, is positioning itself as a regional cultural hub. The creative community has come together to launch the annual cultural festival, ‘What About Kuching’ (WAK).

In addition to food fairs, street art, sketchwalk, and handicrafts, the city also hosted the inaugural Kuching Waterfront Jazz Festival (the 2018 edition will be on September 28-29). The alleys and waterfront of the city came alive with painters, chefs and performers, as shown in this photo essay. Kuching is already host to the renowned Rainforest World Music Festival; see my photo essays from the earlier editions (2017, 2016, 2015, 2014).

One of the artistic directors of these festivals is Gracie Geikie, former CEO of Sarawak Tourism Board and Director of UCSI University Sarawak Campus. “Creative communities and cities shape each other,” she said in a chat with YourStory.

Gracie graduated from the Australian Institute of Business, and is a board member of the Asian Ecotourism Network. Tourism should be ecologically friendly, showcase local artists and entrepreneurs, and feature collaborative activities, she advises.

The natural settings, landscape and iconic buildings of a city are a major focus for local artists, who themselves lend their diversity and creative skills to shaping cultural events, thus boosting the city’s economy. The 2018 editions of Kuching's festivals are gearing up to take the city to new heights as a cultural and entrepreneurial destination.

Now what have you done lately to boost the creative profile of your city?

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