Conceived of as an alternative history project, Imagined Malaysia is an organisation that aims to promote historical literacy and engage with the issues of the day from a historically- informed perspective. We aspire to cultivate a transnational appreciation of Southeast Asia’s rich and vibrant history, in all its complexities and interconnectedness.
1. Highlighting Alternative and Marginalised Perspectives on History
There is a lack of contestation in the perspective of historical events taking place at the current moment in the public sphere in all forms of media. As such Imagined Malaysia seeks to critically interrogate mainstream historical narratives and promote discourses that have been marginalised by the powerful.
2. Against Intellectual Elitism
We believe that history should not be the domain of experts, shrouded in jargon and left unquestioned. History should be made available and accessible to all. Our organisation aspires to discuss our histories, politics and cultures in forms that are understandable and relatable while retaining all of its complexity.
3. Empowering Activist-Historians
Imagined Malaysia aspires to enable and empower activist-historians by providing them a platform to enrich our public discourse. Through our activities, we hope to create communities of historically-informed thinkers and spaces for critics of our mainstream discourse.
4. Inclusive and Progressive
We firmly stand against discrimination and injustices that would exclude racial, religious and sexual minorities. Our activities aim to foster a better understanding of marginalised communities, their history and their current plight.
5. Promoting Transnational Histories
Imagined Malaysia stands behind the notion that history cannot be contained by national boundaries, and that reductionist nationalist histories distort a rich past of transnational communities and solidarity amongst them. We firmly renounce the distortion and denial of cross-border histories in the name of nationalist sentiments.
Imagined Malaysia’s hope is that through our continued efforts at public education and academic research, the public discourse on Southeast Asian history will be more diverse, inclusive and progressive. We see our endeavours contributing towards the writing of the people’s history of Southeast Asia.