Of loops and circles

Last year around May, Yasmine Ostendorf and I met at a coffee shop in Holland Village. I forgot where we first met. Yasmine was travelling to few places and was researching for a publication “Creative Responses to Sustainability”. I was one of the people she met and interviewed. I didn’t think much of the publication. I remember reading it once, read my parts and left it at that.
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Yasmine. NTU-CCA. Gillman Barracks. 

This year in August, Yasmine dropped me an email to say she had a friend from the Phillipines, Lian, who was attached to NTU-CCA for a while.I didn’t think much of it. I agreed to visit Amar Kanwar’s Sovereign Forest exhibition, went for two talks, and within a few days agreed to be part of the Haze Lab research project. Because of this project, I visited Gillman Barracks for the first time. And because of this project I know of Red Baron’s existence. It has been nearly a month since my first visit and in addition to NTU-CCA related things, I have gone back to Red Baron because of #LepakInSG event and to meetup friends there. 

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Creative Responses to Sustainability. People in the Environment Community. 

It’s 1st September 2016 now and today I was back at NTU-CCA and Red Baron for a different purpose. I don’t know why but I keep going back there. 

I was back at The Lab where the Haze meetings were held, and this time my eyes saw the Yasmine’s publication. I never realised it was there. So I took it and flipped the pages and chanced upon this section on “Engaging more young people” and my quote for that section. It was dated 18 May 2015. I cannot recall exactly what went on in our conversation, but in the context of the timeline, that was the period where I remember I had gone to COP20 in Dec 2014 and came back feeling unsatisfied, I was preparing for APS happening in July 2015 and it was hazy then if I would be able to go to COP21 in Dec 2015. So, reading the quote and seeing that I had shared with Yasmine I wanted to see a climate change leadership development program of some sort, that I wanted to see more young people sent to COP and having access to certain people, and seeing how things have progressed since May 2015 and what is happening now with Singapore Youth for Climate Action, it felt unexpectedly satisfying how things have developed since then.

Flipping through the pages, I saw other familiar names. Bhavani Prakash and what she said about the human life being connected to all of existence including other species and the ecosystem, Jie Hui Kia on businesses, systems thinking and greenwashing, Veerappan Swaminathan on sustainability trends and community engagement with Sustainable Living Lab and Repair Kopitiam, Jennifer Teo of Post-Musuem and how arts is this space which allows people from all parts of society to come together and try new things, Lai Hock of Ground-Up Initiative and Michelle Lai whose work requires them  deal with food and farming and this need to help people see the connection between the land and the food we eat. It was just inspiring to read what the others are doing. 

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Me. Environment. The Arts. 

Since this interview, I think I’ve also communicated with Jie Hui a bit more. This year for instance, with her work at Save That Pen, and #LepakInSG’s involvement supporting The Eco Film Festival, Jie Hui instroduced us to Ektory, which does handcrafted works. Using the pens from STP, Ektory will create a sculpture that will be displayed #SGEFF. 

Additionally, in August specifically, I think I have learnt a bit more on what Post-Musuem does other than the Singapore Really Really Free Market events. I am so looking forward to attending some of their events while they are the artist in residence at The Substation. 

Recently with Benjamin Tay and #EatWithHandsInSG I am also exploring how we can use this cultural approach to talk about the practice of eating with hands and how this possibly is an environmentally-friendly practice. 

I am learning how to go beyond communicating the science of climate change and climate impacts, and taking the cultural approach to respond to climate change and influence social norms. Who knows what I will be doing this month. 

Till then.

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