CYBERJAYA, The Embassy of France in Malaysia has initiated the SensARTS Festival, which is aimed at creating a better understanding and awareness of biodiversity preservation among upper secondary students in this country.

SensARTS or ‘sensibilisation of youth through art, science and technology’ brings together an artist and a researcher to generate digital artwork to raise awareness in a creative way, especially on the importance and fragility of biodiversity.

Attachee for Science and Higher Education of the Embassy of France in Malaysia, Dr Valerie Barbosa said the issue of environmental protection has always been the foremost priority for both the French and the Malaysian governments.

“…and through SensARTS, we want to target younger audiences and we requested our team to develop the pieces (artwork) that really have something to do with the protection of biodiversity,” she told Bernama when met at the SensARTS Festival held at Multimedia University (MMU) here today.

She said the SensARTS coordination started in September 2023 with four teams from Kuala Lumpur (KL), Penang, Sabah and Sarawak going through a two-month intensive experiment with coaching and mentoring from professionals.

SensARTS is a collaboration project with Alliance Française Kuala Lumpur and five higher institutions that include MMU, Universiti Malaya (UM), Universiti Sains Malaysia, Universiti Malaysia Sabah and Universiti Malaysia Sarawak.

According to Barbosa, four digital pieces that consist of interactive art and augmented reality have been developed and the festival that took place today in the four cities - KL, Penang, Sabah, Sarawak- will pave the way for younger audiences or upper secondary students to figure out the beauty of biodiversity in a different way.

“It gives them (students) first approach to the subject of biodiversity that is going to be emotional because all these pieces are very interactive and they also trigger your emotions, that there is the idea of urgency to do something to save the planet,” she said, adding that the winning team will be announced next month.

The works of art displayed were ‘Guardians of the Sea’ developed by the Penang team; ‘MyARTS: My Action to Rescue Tropical Species) (KL); ‘SUO-SUO: Sabah Underwater Odyssey-Underwater Wonders Comes Alive’ (Sabah) and ‘Soundscape of the Rainforest, Rhythm of the Biodiversity’ (Sarawak).

Meanwhile, the digital artist for ‘MyARTS: My Action to Rescue Tropical Species’ Anis Haron said he teamed up with Dr Mohammed Rizman Idid from UM to develop an interactive artwork that addresses three issues such as deforestation, illegal poaching and invasive species.

The artwork for example requires the audience to stop illegal loggers or free birds from cages interactively within an allocated period.

“Biodiversity threats are very time-sensitive and we need to take action as soon as possible, that’s the idea of this interactive artwork,” he said.

Source: BERNAMA News Agency