VISITORS to Media Prima Bhd’s Gegaria Festival will be taken on a historical ride of the country’s progress through what is called the “Throwback Tunnel”, an artistically decorated, air-conditioned tunnel showcasing photographs of the country throughout the years.

These old photographs were sourced from the New Straits Times Press’ (NSTP) resource centre.

There will also be graphics and illustrations of Malaysia’s progress since its independence at the day-long festival at the Setia City Convention Centre in Shah Alam today.

The “tunnel” will be segmented into seven parts: Merdeka 1950s, Groovy 1960s, Senandung 1970s, Hebat 1980s, Kejituan 1990s, Gemilang 2000s and Gah 2010s.

The Throwback Tunnel idea came about following a brainstorming session between NSTP staff, MPB’s Creative Services Department, Consumer Communications Group and Advertising Studio. 

Gegaria Festival project manager Jeannie Leong said the Throwback Tunnel was first conceptualised as a street exhibition.

“This street exhibition would have visitors walking along the streets and see segmented areas signifying certain eras. (But) We scrapped the idea and we turned it into a tunnel. 

“We developed the idea to exhibit more masterpieces and to arrange it all in sequence according to Malaysian history. The images are from our resource centre and we used our studio to illustrate the images.

“We wanted to show the country’s rich history beginning in the 1950s and to show the younger generation, especially the millennials, the country’s achievements throughout the decades.”

Leong said as inspiration came from the past, visitors could see Malaysia as a whole through the Throwback Tunnel.

The tunnel took shape in a month.

Why a throwback tunnel at a festival like this?

“Some millennials are curious to learn about the past. So, we leveraged our archives and chose the best to be showcased in the tunnel,” said Leong.

As the old photographs were mostly in black and white, the team decided to turn it into pop art that will make the tunnel more vibrant, colourful and lively.

“We decided to inject some hipster elements into it,” Leong added.

The tunnel is aimed at educating the public on Malaysia’s history and appreciating the country’s heroes and their sacrifices in achieving the country’s independence.

Among the interactive displays in the tunnel are a visual-driven question-and-answer session; a push screen button revealing audio stories of iconic times; larger-than-life art prints; newspaper frame covers, display of call-outs through speech bubbles; textured curtain projection and playback loop on old-school TVs.

There is also a digital activation activity area where visitors will receive a postcard showcasing iconic visuals from the NSTP archives. They will receive an email with the front cover of the New Straits Times on the day and year they were born.

Gegaria Festival will be held in Shah Alam today, followed by Johor Baru on Feb 3 and Kuantan on Feb 24.

For more information, visit Gegaria’s Facebook page ( or Instagram (@gogegaria).

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Staff members setting up equipment for the Gegaria Festival at the Setia City Convention Centre in Shah Alam yesterday. PIC BY MOHD ASRI SAIFUDDIN MAMAT

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