Danny Mahes, founder of Bad Wolves, shares with Vgrab LIfestyle how its programmes are initiating more interest among the communities and driving the spoken word scene. Its year long show – Say It Like You Mean It – continues to attract a niche audience from the spoken word scene nationwide. Its most recent collaboration with Georgetown Festival in August 2017 entitled '12 Stories' is an interactive exhibition – stories of triumphs and tribulations, of love and loss, of sacrifices and new lives – presented to the audience through oral narratives. It's objective in rebuilding shared circle through storytelling reveals a community of hidden past stories of our parents and ancestors.
Q: What is Bad Wolves?
We are creative people on a very important mission. Comprised of artists, producers and volunteers, Bad Wolves plays a very important role in Penang. We run year-long programs, work with local festivals and have a positive impact on communities.
Danny Maches, Founder of Bad Wolves
Q: What do you do?
We build creative communities! We organise programs, manage productions and create partnerships that use arts, culture and creativity to improve lives and livelihoods.
In George Town we run Say It Like You Mean It [SILYMI], a mentorship program and showcase featuring original spoken word, music and comedy. We've also just started a program in Butterworth called "Butterworth Also Can!" We're very excited about the possibilities.
We've also produced shows and content for the Kuala Lumpur Literary Festival, The Butterworth Fringe Festival and the George Town Festival.
Kiri Kanan Reframed BTS - BTS shot of Kiri Kanan: Reframed, short film produced for our 12 Stories: Arrivals production for George Town Festival 2017
Q: In your opinion, how accepting are people towards arts and cultures these days?
People are becoming more conscious of how important creativity is to the future. And they're also starting to realise that life is fuller and happier with arts and culture. It also plays an important part in understanding our history and heritage.
I think people are becoming more conscious of this, and participating more. There's an improvement compared to the last few decades. People are making friends and building communities around support for programs like SILYMI.
SILYMI Garoo - Performing at our SILYMI Showcase, Garoo is on the vanguard of a new wave of Penang stage comedians
Q: Challenges and responses?
The audience is very appreciative! I think that one can find a niche if they do something that is interesting and, most importantly, relevant to locals. However, there is a wider challenge of funding what you do. It's a chicken and egg story of not having the capital to reach wider or international audiences, thus not having the revenue to expand.
Buttercan Azalia - Azalia Zaharuddin performing at our Buttercan Showcase in February 2017
Q: Future plans for Bad Wolves?
We want to work with more Penangites and help them discover their potential. We want to work with local communities and infuse each person with passion, creativity and expression. We want to see exciting, groundbreaking and uniquely Penang work reach a world stage. And we want to help that happen!
12 stories storytellers - The six live storytellers from our GTF production titled 12 Stories: Arrivals. From left: Diyaa, Shrivatsn, Kasvini, Cameelia, Lawrence, Miriam