Retelling the Malaysian Folktale, Dayang Senandung, for Contemporary Audience


Shahreena Shahrani (Independent)

Shahreena Shahrani’s presentation derives from her interpretation of the Malaysian folktale, Dayang Senandung. Dayang Senandung traditionally tells the story of a princess “cursed” with dark skin at birth. The “curse” was lifted after she married a Prince and gave birth to a baby. In response to the problematic re-make of this folktale, which features “blackface” for popular consumption, by the Malaysian production house, Zeel Production, Shahreena composed an alternative re-telling to address contemporary issues of colorism, sexism, voice, and beauty for younger audience.

Part of 26-02 “Folk” Culture in Eastern Asia: Transition, Survivance, and Attendance, Tuesday, October 19, 5:15 pm–6:45 pm