This year marks 200 years since Raffles’ arrival in Singapore. To commemorate this milestone, a new month-long festival will take you on a journey to explore lesser-known micro-narratives of our past. Through films, performances, graphic novels, zines, and exhibitions, you might come to view people, communities, and places in a whole new light. This festival is called The Future of our Pasts Festival.
Organised by Yale-NUS in conjunction with the Singapore Bicentennial, TFOOPFest will run from 16 February to 17 March 2019 at various locations around the city. There will be eleven showcase highlights; most of them are free with registration. In addition, there will be plenty of fringe activities.
Visitors can engage with interactive installations, such as the ORchard: A Stroll Between Valleys showcase. Or join in walking tours (ticketed at $10, please register at orchard.peatix.com) to uncover Orchard’s hidden drainage pipes and topography. A little known fact is that this famous road used to be a valley with a natural stream.
See Singapore’s oldest flea market come to life again. Remembering Sungei is an exhibition featuring artefacts and video interviews of vendors from the renowned Sungei Road Thieves Market.
Journey through Singapore’s housing history with First Storeys, a theatrical show accompanied by forums and a workshop for kids that explores urban planning and untold stories of residents resettling from kampungs to HDB flats from the 1950s to the 1990s. The shows are priced at $15 but the forums and workshops are free with registration (firststoreys.peatix.com).
Learn about the Kristang community, language and people in Boka di Stori. This showcase will be a weekend with loads of activities, including a language crash course, trivia night, film screenings and board games. Register at bokadistori.peatix.com.
For tales about love, don’t miss Rojak Romance, a documentary following a mixed-race couple. See this couple meet their respective families, and navigate and integrate differing religious and cultural backgrounds and expectations on children. This documentary will have two showings, both free with registration. (rojakromance10mar.peatix.com and rojakromance16mar.peatix.com)
For more on love, check out MEANTIME, an independent zine collecting love stories and old photographs of historical places from the past. Register at meantime.peatix.com.
Drop in to listen to music performances by local band, The MadHatter Project, in Sarong Party. This showcase will feature original compositions that spotlight Singapore’s colonial history and legacies. More details at sarongparty.peatix.com.
These are just a few of the activities and events lined up for you to experience at TFOOPFest. Spaces are limited, so register today to secure your tickets.
As this year marks Singapore’s bicentennial, let’s reimagine history through art, conversations, and storytelling. And let’s revisit the past to learn and build a better future.