Telling Malaysian stories
Excerpt of an interview with The Nut Graph:
(All pics courtesy of Bernice Chauly)
BERNICE Chauly says her work as a poet, photographer, filmmaker and writer is all about telling stories. Her work often has themes of marginalisation and identity. She’s written a play about sex workers, taken pictures of refugees, and made documentaries about indigenous peoples and Kelantanese folk traditions. She has also published two collections of poems and a collection of short stories.
Chauly is currently working on a literary autobiography about her family history. “I’m very interested in stories, and what people have to say about themselves and who they are,” she says. “And I guess what I’m doing now is writing my own story.”
In an interview on 3 July 2009 in Petaling Jaya, Chauly talks to The Nut Graph about the roots of that fascination.
Where are you from and where are your parents from?
My father is Punjabi, my mother Chinese. I was born in Georgetown, at the Penang Maternity Hospital, in 1968. My father was born in Penang, my mother was born in Ipoh. My parents got married in 1966, which was not the norm at that time, and there was tremendous opposition from both sides of the family.
Bernice’s Chinese great grandparents with their children. Her grandfather, Loh Mooi Fatt, is standing on the far right.
To read the entire interview, please click on this link: The Nut Graph: Telling Malaysian Stories