Amid shifting political ground in Singapore and the United States, New York-based literary nonprofit Singapore Unbound is gathering writers to discuss literature, democracy and political art at a three-day virtual festival happening in October.
More than a month has passed since Singaporeans went to the polls and the United States is three months away from voting for its next president, which makes it timely to hear out these talented literature artists.
Listen to comic artists Joy Ho and Shirin Rafie on what it is like to draw the line on politically controversial art, reimagine the future of democracy with New Naratif chief Ping Tjin Thum, or understand the use of short stories to discuss politics from writers Nuraliah Norasid and Los Angeles-based Ricco Villanueva Siasoco.
“The festival theme ‘The Politics of Hope’ responds to this fraught moment not only in Singapore and the USA but also around the world. Everywhere, democracy, human rights, and social justice are facing existential threats, and we want to provide writers and thinkers a platform to speak to the current global turmoil,” organizer Jee Leong Koh said.
The Singapore Literature Festival is organized by a group of Singaporean volunteers – writers, artists, and creatives – who call New York City and Singapore home. This is its fourth edition, which will take place online via Zoom for the first time.
The comic artists will go live during a special preview of the festival on Sept. 24 and joined by ASMR artist Melinda Lauw for a special multisensory performance.
The festival will also celebrate all other literature forms by Singapore writers, including the U.S. launch of And The Walls Come Crumbling Down, part queer memoir and part poetic rumination, by Singapore-born writer and poet Tania De Rozario.
Writers Amanda Lee Koe (Delayed Rays of a Star) and Paula Mendoza (Play for Time) will also join a virtual panel titled “Celebrity and Celebration” to discuss how they incorporate those themes in contemporary writing.
All of the events are free and links to the various Zoom events will be sent after guests RSVP.