MANY of you might know him as @Fahmi_Fadzil, the guy who gave a whole new meaning to the phrase “a thousand apologies”.
Okay, so he only had to post a hundred apologies on Twitter to settle his defamation case with a publishing house, but with the untold ramifications of Twitterverse – and the small matter of the global media (CNBC, Al Jazeera and the BBC, among others) picking up on the story – you could say he’s made like a gazillion apologies by now.
Still, some of you guys who’d be wondering – who exactly is this systematic, sorry spammer?
To those familiar with him beyond his Twitter handle and personalised #DeFahmi hashtag, he’s just plain Fahmi Fadzil, the writer/performer who has helped pioneer an entire generation of arts/social activists.
Through his work with performing arts collective Five Arts Centre and online TV channel PopTeeVee, Fahmi has established himself as a prominent voice for the young people of Malaysia.
He has been actively involved in social projects like the Taman Medan Community Arts Project in 2002, – after the Taman Medan riots, – which was about addressing racial tensions among young people in the area through performing and visual arts.
Another of Fahmi’s better-known efforts is Projek Wayang, a “naughty and mischievous” interpretation of traditional wayang kulit (shadow puppetry).
“There’s something about folk art that is surprisingly disruptive to the balance of power. You can make fun of kings and princes, and yourself at the same time,” he said.
Although he graduated with a degree in engineering about a decade ago, he never spent much time in that industry.
Now, he’s the political secretary for PKR vice-president Nurul Izzah Anwar.
“A lot of people say my work in politics has given me a lot of grey hair!” he joked. “(Politics) can have a direct impact on public imagination, on public narrative. So as an artist, I want to shift and refocus that narrative.”