Do politicians and rulers have anything to worry about when it comes to the influence of art in politics?

This year alone, Fahmi Reza, a Malaysian political graphic designer and activist has been questioned by police five times for publishing his work on social media. Last month in May, it was for his satire piece depicting Malaysia’s health minister in a missing person’s poster. The month before that, it was for allegedly insulting the queen with a Spotify playlist.

On this episode of Southeast Asia Dispatches, Deborah Augustin speaks to Sharon Chin, a Malaysian artist, about her thoughts on protest art and whether political satire is an effective tool when it comes to challenging people in power.

Kelly Anissa is a journalist based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Previously, Kelly worked as a producer and presenter at BFM 89.9, a Malaysian radio station for current affairs. She has done work on a wide range of areas, covering environmental issues, policy and legal reforms in Malaysia, regional politics and health journalism. Outside of work, Kelly works on short films.

Deborah Germaine Augustin is a writer born and raised in Malaysia. Formerly the Membership Engagement Manager at New Naratif from 2018 - 2021. She dreams of a world where we all have freedom of movement. Follow her on Twitter @dbgermane.

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