FIRESIDE CHAT: Indie artists showcase oppression in prison through theater show

Hajar Umira Md Zaki
14 Sep 2022 03:30pm
Adiit Seketika (left) Lea Syaurah (middle) with Suaram's Azura Nasron
Adiit Seketika (left) Lea Syaurah (middle) with Suaram's Azura Nasron

PETALING JAYA - What does ‘Narapidana’ theater show and Malaysia Day have in common?

It is about hope, the value of freedom and moving forward.

Narapidana which means prisoner in Sanskrit touches on the importance of human rights, Narapidana director, Adiit Seketika.

Produced by an independent art team from HiMedia, it showcases real life incidents from non-governmental organisation (NGO), Suara Rakyat Malaysia (Suaram) without revealing the identity of the victims.

During an interview over Sinar Daily's Fireside Chat segment, Adiit said it would also touch on confinement faced in prison with "some of the inmates being electrocuted, hammered and brutally treated.”

Narapidana's production manager, Lea Syaurah shared the storyline where a character named Ahmad was accused of being a a terrorist after transferring money to his family in the Middle East. He was suspected of being part of militant group.

“So, it’s called Narapidana because it's about authoritarian-style custodies with their rights to fair trial being denied and justice violated.

“The message we hoped for doing this theatre on Malaysian Day is to bring attention to the unspoken truth from the implication of our system and policy,” she said.

Handwritten articles from prisoners

Suaram's Azura Nasron said the show is organised under one of its school of activistism programme.

“In this school we have three levels, the first and second are more on theories on activitism and the third level is where the participants organise forums, discussions or shows.

Suaram also took part in the script writing with the team.

“When I still new in Suaram, I was shocked reading through the cases with some of them had handwritten letters by the prisoners while in prison,” she said.

They were mostly affected by youths detained under Security Offences (Special Measures) Act (Sosma) and Prevention of Crime Act (Poca).

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As Suaram representative in the Fireside Chat with Sinar Daily, Azura also touched on focusing youth as the targeted audience for the play.

"They are young and don’t know where to ask for help,” she said.

Azura hopes more youth would know who to call if they were detained by the authorities.

Narapidana will be showcased from Sept 16 to 18 and will be held at Damansara Performing Arts Centre (DPAC).

Tickets are available at