Reclaiming Adat: Contemporary Malaysian Film and Literature
In the early 1990s, the animist and Hindu traces in adat (Malay custom) became contentious for resurgent Islam in Malaysia. Filmmakers, intellectuals, and writers responded by deploying adat to counter the homogenizing aspects of both Islamic discourse and globalization in this period. Their revitalization project involved an emphasis on sexuality and a return to archaic forms such as magic and traditional healing. In Reclaiming Adat, Khoo Gaik Cheng uses close textual readings of literature and film, to reveal tensions between gender, modernity, and nation within these art forms.
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