CSEAS/MAI Closing the Doors: A documentary on the LGBT human rights in Malaysia

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Date(s) - 01/08/2013
1:00 am - 2:30 am

Gallery Building 55 Clayton Campus



CSEAS/MAI Seminar Series


Dr Julian Lee

Closing the Doors: A documentary on the LGBT human rights in Malaysia



In this presentation, Julian CH Lee will be discussing human rights relating to sexual orientation and gender identity in Malaysia. The presentation will revolve around a screening of his documentary, Closing the Doors which examines the banning in 2011 of the Malaysian sexuality-rights movement, Seksualiti Merdeka (Sexuality Independence; SM). Through interviews with those involved in the movement, this documentary tells the story of the events of the day on which SM’s 2011 rights festival was banned and the ensuing furore which saw it featured on the front pages of newspapers for days. Featuring footage from the day, including of negotiations with police at the event’s venue, the film explores and critiques the accusations made against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual (LGBT) communities in Malaysia. With insights from social scientists, it also analyses the prevailing socio-political context to explain why SM became a furore in 2011 and not in its previous three years’ of activities. This 28-minute documentary provides an insider’s view into one of Malaysia’s now most high-profile human rights movements and describes a formative moment in Malaysia’s story of LGBT rights advocacy.












About the director and executive producer


Julian CH Lee is a Lecturer in Global Studies in the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT University. His research on sexuality, gender, human rights and identity in Malaysia has been published in a number of fora, including his sole-authored books Islamization and Activism in Malaysia (2010), and Policing Sexuality: Sex, Society, and the State (2011). He is also the editor of The Malaysian Way of Life (2010), Fringe Benefits (2011; with Yeoh Seng Guan) and Thinking Through Malaysia (2012: with Julian Hopkins).