Saturday, 6 October 2012
A Month in Malaysia: Kuala Lumpur
Kuala Lumpur is a city intent on defining itself as a modern global city. The roads are enormous - all with a minimum of four lanes and the building boom is in full swing. As more and more anonymous skyscrapers are hurled skywards, the smaller streets of 1920s and 1930s colonial architecture is left to decay with one three-storey example burnt out with all the debris left inside, prevented only from collapsing onto the street by the blackened window frames and another huge area - presumably an entire row of ten or more buildings - completely reduced to rubble.
Malaysia inevitably has a complex relationship with its past as a result of centuries of colonial rule and preserving the architecture of this period is clearly not widely desired. However, we did encounter two local groups determined to prevent the history from being lost altogether, the 'Petaling Street Community Arts Project' and 'Lost Generation Space'. Collectively they have a facebook page through which you can follow and support their work should you be interested.