Universiti Teknologi Malaysia (UTM) in collaboration with Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) will organize a multimedia exhibit, focusing on the role of women innovators in promoting sustainable city development in Malaysia.

The exhibition, titled ‘’Female Faces in Sustainable Places – Malaysia Women Promoting Sustainable Development’’ will take place at MIT Wolk Gallery, School of Architecture and Planning, in Boston from 30th April to 31st July 2015.

The exhibit will reveal inspiring aspects of the Malaysian culture to Western audiences through a collection of large- and small- format portrait images, action and in situ photographs, and interactive video recordings of Malaysian women innovators from different walks of life.

The exhibition is part of the UTM-MIT Malaysia Sustainable Cities Program (MSCP). MSCP is a five-year collaboration effort between the MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning and UTM.

Executive Director of Institute of Sultan Iskandar (ISI), UTM, Professor Dr Mohd Hamdan Ahmad, who is also Co-Director of the exhibition, said that amongst the objectives of organizing the exhibition is to explore the ways in which women policymakers and social entrepreneurs are contributing to sustainable development in Malaysia.

“With support from the Malaysian Ministry of Education, UTM-MIT MSCP is documenting and assessing sustainable city development efforts in Malaysia.”

“In the process we are learning about the important roles that women play as change agents in Malaysia’s major cities and challenging some of the current stereotypes about the impact of Islam on women’s freedom, autonomy, professionalism and power,” he said.

Professor Mohd Hamdan, pointed out that women in Malaysia play key roles in formulating and implementing sustainable development policies. Female leaders and managers holding high levels government and private sector positions, are defining what sustainability means.

“Furthermore, at the community level, “unsung heroines” from many backgrounds are bringing sustainability to life, often through social entrepreneurship of various kinds.

“Malaysia has been chosen because the country is much farther along in crafting sustainable development policies than many other countries. Malaysia is also in the process of transforming from a developing to a developed nation,” Professor Hamdan further explained.

He further pointed out that the focus on Malaysian women in the exhibition will demonstrate the maturity of Malaysia’s democracy as a multiracial, multi-religious community where people of various backgrounds work together to develop a modern, democratic and progressive nation.

The exhibit will feature a diversity of Malaysian women working in different economic sectors involving business, government, NGOs/non-profit organizations, education, and civil society. It will also encompass women from Malaysia’s major diverse ethnic group, namely, Malay, Chinese, Indian, and indigenous people. Among Malaysian females featured include Governor of Bank Negara, Tan Sri Dr Zeti Akhtar Aziz, the Chief of the World Humanitarian Summit Secretariat and President of Malaysian Medical Relief Society (MERCY Malaysia), Tan Sri Dr. Jemilah Mahmood, Professor, Razak School of Engineering and Advanced Technology UTM, Dr Suhana Shamsuddin, Director General of the Department of Town and Country Planning, Ministry of Local Government, Datin Paduka Dr Dahlia Rosly, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC), Dato’ Yasmin Mahmood, CEO of MaGIC Malaysian Global Innovation and Creativity Centre, Cheryl Yeoh, Founder and Chairperson of Yayasan Sukarelawan Siswa Student Volunteer Foundation (YSS), a disaster relief organization, Dato’ Zuraidah Atan, and Head of Planning and Compliance, Iskandar Regional Development Authority in Johor Bahru, Maimunah Jaffar.
The multi-media exhibit will remain at MIT for four and a half months. Then, it will move to a highly visible gallery in Kuala Lumpur. There the exhibition will be augmented by additional photographic and video profiles prepared by Malaysian journalists or academics.
Female Faces is organized by planning professor Larry Susskind, Director of the Malaysia Sustainable Cities Program, with Dayna Cunningham, Director of SA+P’s CoLab; Bettina Urcuioli, MSCP Program Manager; and Gary Van Zante, Curator of Architecture and Design at the MIT Museum.

The exhibit will feature the work of photographer Leslie Tuttle whose current interest lies in social documentary photography. Her photographs tell a compelling story, offering viewers a chance to engage in a special dialogue with the world.

Yang Amat Mulia Tunku Ali Redhauddin ibni Tuanku Muhriz, Tunku Besar of Sri Menanti will deliver a keynote address, at the opening ceremony on 30th April.

Meanwhile, Malaysia Ambassador to the U.S. Dato Dr Awang Adek,   and Secretary General II, Ministry of Education Malaysia Dato’ Seri Ir. Dr. Zaini Ujangwho who will be representing the Chief Secretary to the Government of Malaysia, Tan Sri Dr Ali Hamsa, are also expected to be present at the opening ceremony.FemaleFaces.eFlyer (1)