By DENIELLE LEONG
Photos by MELISSA ONG
What happens when we are constantly reminded of only the bad things about Malaysia? For some of us, we overlook the good that our country has to offer, and sadly, we might even lose hope.
But, as always, there are wonderful young people out there doing something different to spread optimism. This time, it’s REVOFEV, a community formed by Shazwan “Ze” Zulkiffli, 18, and Farhan Fauzi, 17, that organises events to bring young people together.
“REVOFEV stands for Revolution Of Evolution, and it’s just our way of coming up with something different to impart change through small efforts,” said Farhan during an interview with the BRATs.
Earlier this month, they organised Sounds Of Nature, a three-part mini festival that featured a bazaar, live performances, and an art exhibition – all to spread some lovin’ for Malaysia.
What stood out to us, though, was the mysterious “Abu” from the Being Abu YouTube series, and the art exhibition simply dubbed Abu’s Hat Of Curiosity.
According to Ze, “Abu” is a metaphorical character that represents how he sees the country as a “naive kampung boy” but, of course, with lots of room to develop.
“In the series, Abu (portrayed by actor Nabil Zakaria) is a typical small town boy who visits Kuala Lumpur. There, he meets new people and experiences different things – and ultimately becomes a better person.
“That’s sort of how I feel about Malaysia – we just need a little openness in order to grow as a nation,” said Ze.
Abu’s adventures included attending a gig and exploring the city. Co-incidentally, the latter was a new experience for Nabil too, even though he was born and bred in KL.
“It felt rather strange to be touring the city when I’ve lived here all my life, and yet I had never discovered these places before,” the 23-year-old actor admitted. “I experienced KL for the first time as both Abu and myself.”
“I couldn’t believe that he (Nabil) had never been to an Indian temple before!” said Aila Azizul, who played herself in Being Abu.
Aila’s character, Ze added, represents hope and that fresh perspective that our country needs. In the series, she took him around the city and was the one who ultimately opened his eyes to this whole new world.
And that, essentially, brings us to the concept of Abu’s Hat Of Curiosity. The artworks illustrated Abu’s state of mind, filled with images of Malaysia, all produced by 11 young local artists who Ze and his team discovered through social media.
“They told me about this project on my Instagram page and asked if I was up for it,” Foo Jynwaye said. The 17-year-old artist contributed six pieces to the showcase, including one of a Malayan tiger.
On the other hand, Shah Nadhir’s pieces were more directly related to the Being Abu series. Talking To You Feels Like Home, for instance, illustrated the comfort that Abu felt whenever he was around Aila.
Many other artworks were equally impressive, illustrating just how much insane young talent we have here in Malaysia.
“I want people to know that it really isn’t all that bad, and that there is still hope for the country. The hope lies within us, the youths,” said Ze.
To learn more about REVOFEV and Being Abu, go to facebook.com/REVOFEVasia.