*Published on 12/9. To be updated as and when for the month of September- last updated 25/9*
*I’m lazy to embed pictures. They can be seen on Flickr, which I update regularly.
*These are just notes. Though.. actual notes is either in my notebook or some random papers.*
*I don’t even know what to record for SYCA, #LepakInSG, #EatWithHandsInSG anymore. Things going on here and there.. I’ll consolidate all in some other blog post next time*
7/9 Community Gathering and Food Futures at Substation
With so many edible gardens in Singapore, can we ensure a level of production or yield that is enough for the local community? Are we already self-sufficient?
8/9 Climate Change Working Group organised by Post-Museum at Substation
Session 1 out of 4. Tim’s session was on Energy and Security.
I was too focused on coal, oil and gas.
Conversations here broadened to security issues- economic inequality, food shortages, poor resource management, failed states. And so much more.
It was quite a good 2 hour session or so. I think what interest me now is how people respond to security issues.
I posted this on FB:
Of supernatural tales: Maybe at the end of the day what we really want is the ability to detach ourselves from the unseen and unnecessary fears as easily as how we remove ourselves from these footwears.
I think aside from that what stood out for me was when this Javanese-dressed young dude came up to share how most people would remember the Fall of Singapore to the Japanese in 1942 and that if we go back into history, Singapura was first invaded in 1398 by the Majapahit. At that point I thought that part of the history lesson was not related to the theme at all. However, the dude then related it o the massacre that occured and that according to the Malay Annals ‘blood flowed like a river’ and given that much of the battle was at what is now known as Fort Canning, chances are that is probably the most haunted place in Singapore. Before this I had always thought of Fort Canning to be a place of the ancient royalties.. I never really knew this part of history and that probably it is a place I should respect more not only because the royalties used to live there and are now resting there, but also because so much bloodshed has occrued there.
Add On: Turns out Hafiz is Muzzy’s cousin. Hah.
10/9 Who is Burning? workshop at NTUC Centre
First posted on FB:
Learnt so much. Need to explore http://www.globalforestwatch.org/map on a laptop too!
10/9 NTU-CCA Haze Lab Research Project at Gillman Barracks
Session 3 of 4.
First posted on FB:
Went for 1st half of PM. Haze workshop and then hopped over to NTU-CCA for Part 3 of 4 of the haze group discussion.
I just feel like I’m taking in a lot of information and have yet to digest and process everything. I’m not even doing anything specific on haze. This cross-curricular learning on haze and climate change, and drawing wider connections and understanding various perspectives can be overwhelming.
Someone mentioned like a thermostat which regulates temperature, Singapore regulates what kind of information and how much information we release on haze. As it is, the complexity of the haze issue and money trail surrounding the palm oil business, including evading taxes, makes certain aspects of the palm oil business a crime. Does Singapore’s strategy of only releasing information that is palatable to the public and perhaps not focusing enough on the narrative that we the consumers here are the culprits as well means we are the ones committing the crime every day? How can we police other countries when we are not policing ourselves enough?
10/9 Visualising Paradise at Substation
Speculations of how Paradise looks like.
I think the session was interesting for me because Faiz shared his framework- perceptions of how different individuals would see (and try to locate) Paradise and he gave examples of Paradise on Earth. My favorite image was probably the Bagh-e Shahzadeh (the King’s Garden) in Mahan, Iran.
My thoughts became slightly strayed from the main topic. I’m not the most well-read person in this of course. I’ve always thought physicality of Paradise= Jannah= Heaven in Islam (Note: The talk was broader of course.. it was non-Islamic) was too.. magnificent? Too beautiful. How can you have a place with rivers of water, milk, honey and wine, and whose inhabitants are adorned in gold and always smell nice? From young, it was something difficult for me to imagine. The idea of a Paradise in this context is something that is rewarded to Believers and those who deserves it. And thus there is the other side of the coin- that there is Hell=Jahanam for those who sin. How is one living on Earth know to what degree of wrongdoing is he allowed to commit before he is categorised into those going to Hell? Additionally, the Paradise that we are told about talks about the provisions of houris=companions (the virgins and pure kinds).. the kinds which sounds celestial to me. It’s just a concept and ‘imagined/ ideal/ dream’ that again, is hard for me to grasp. Why do we talk and long for this when we do not treat everyone on Earth with kindness? What is it that we should do before we can be ‘rewarded’ with all these elements of Paradise? Should we even be taking note of all this in the first place?
Tonight, Faiz shared an article about abut the experience of an Iranian Shiite going to Mecca to perform the pilgrimage but what he experience was distrust among the majority Sunnis. Again, I felt the same way I felt yesterday. There’s so much hypocrisy in the world.
11/9 U got rojak(?) or not at Joo Chiat Road
Nearly 2 hours of discussions on cross-collaboration.
My takeaway was “What is the social glue that will make parties to a project come together to work on it?”
I also feel bad because Chris and Deena walked 2 hours from Paya Lebar MRT to Joo Chiat Road finding me (when it should have been a 15 mins walk!!). I hope they’re both safe on the flight to Sydney.
Bye for now.
14/9 Exhibition (de)Tour with Dr Farish Ahmad Noor at NTU-CCA, Gillman Barracks
Highlight of Dr Farish Noor’s talk revolving around colonial capitalism in Southeast Asia was the bit on how John Anderson of the British East India Company had humanised the Sumatran people when other contemporaries had chosen to associate the people with cannibalism and piracy. Seeing things from this perspective allowed Anderson to see what people were interested in buying and selling and helped see there were opportunities for trading.
Dr Farish Noor’s related paper on this: WP278 | John Anderson’s Data Mining Mission to Sumatra in 1823: When Method Creates the Object https://www.rsis.edu.sg/rsis-publication/gpo/wp278/#.V9lXFKARXqC
I guess another highlight was also the bit on language (not just the verbal language, the non-verbal and social aspects too) and how that itself is a powerful tool on how we shape our narrative // and that we are sort of still stuck in the language of the 19th century, showing that perhaps we have never left colonialism (Insert Singapore tourism ads and the coconut trees, banana trees sunset views or French ads of men with beret and baguette). The homogenous culture, or at least to be able to see that there is a dominant culture is alarming.
15/9 Climate Change Working Group organised by Post-Museum at Substation
Session 2 out of 4. Mike’s session was on Food.
Mike shared this online tool he and a friend created called What Is My Carbon Footprint? about Something simple to use for individual to estimate how much carbon footprint they produce. We talked about people’s response to the tool and in general how marketing for it could be improved.
The carbon footprint theme was then released to the Food theme- how livestock produce much higher carbon emission and how the meat and dairy industry lobby.. Reasons for the government in Singapore to manage climate change impacts. There’s just too much I don’t know which to write here.
My notes on this is somewhere on Flickr.
16/9 Self-organised: Negotiating the self, individual and institution at Substation (I only caught the last 30 mins or so).
My takeaway from this was- a physical space for artists to come together and converge is important to have so that there can be exchanges of ideas, collaborations. Having that sense of permanent space can create a sense of rootedness. That said, there are things to take note of- like venue rental and utility bill. Is it really important to have your own space or can you better utilise existing spaces that are available (like Subs. haha). I’m also reminded of my earlier days at GUI when Lai Hock mentioned having that place where people can always come back to, giving a sense of familiarity, a sense of rootedness.
18/9 [FREE] WORLD 2066 Visionarium: Chronicling Our Futures WIEF Day 1 at Red Box
Ibnur was on reservist the 2-3 weeks before this week-long event, I don’t know how he managed it. I didn’t really do much in the day time. The late afternoon till night time of the program was run by FiTree. We went to Gardens by the Bay and walked to Marina Barrage where we ended things off with a rooftop dinner and chat. It was a super long day and by the time I did my sharing I just cut short everything and gave more of a synthesis of the night chats.
Maybe the Lastrina a few years back would have been excited being a participant of such an event. The Lastrina now tries to justify attending such things, if that’s a priority, if that’s a privilege that other people could better benefit from, if organisers should be spending money putting me up in a hotel and paying for my transportation.
19/9 Visiting Upgrown somewhere in Paya Lebar
LJ asked me the night itself if I was free to accompany her to Upgrown.
To be honest I couldn’t remember if I’ve heard of them. According to LJ I (under the capacity of 350 Singapore) had invited Lionel the previous year to come speak at ASEAN Power Shift. I was doing the overall coordination and there were 3 other girls in charge of specific knowledge tracks.. I’ve to admit I cannot remember all the speakers. I must have gone for his session though as he was paired up with Bing Yu of GUI and a URA lady.
LJ (under the capacity of Engineering Good) had some specific questions for Lionel. I on the other hand learnt a few things, like.. The installation process of a high-tech farm, management and human administration behind that, food production and distribution.
I need to read up more/ do a comparison of companies like Edible Garden City and Upgrown, and groups like Ground-Up Initiative (the farming arm).
20/9 BoP World Convention & Expo at ITE College Central
I managed to just attend Day 1 of 3 of this event. I stayed till 3pm-ish.
The sharings I found most interesting was BRAC (Bangladesh) and Poverty Spotlight (Paraguay).
I guess I can always go back to their websites.. but what made me remember these two more was also the fact that they utlised infographics and visual data.
21/9 Young Singaporeans (Un)Conference 2016: “What’s Good?” at Far East Square
It was a super long full day event and I learnt a lot.
In terms of break out sessions, I co-created a session on Placemaking- Redefining Spaces with some people I just met (Notes on Flickr). And then attended a session on Inter-religious relations: Dealing with differences by Mohamed Imran Mohamed Taib, We-work, We-live, We-share Designing spaces for a common future by Calvin Chua, and What is Advocacy by Khoo Yifeng.
So. I guess after doing up the slides for 29/9 between 9-17/9, I sort of leaned towards sessions I thought could give me broader perspectives on my chosen topic.
I suppose I went for this session with a different sort of talk in mind. This session was quite academic I feel- theories and framework behind activism.
22/9 Climate Change Working Group organised by Post-Museum at Substation
Session 3 out of 4. Li-Anne led a session on Economy and Transition towns.
Things to read up on
– Eco villages, and failures due to lack of economic activity
– What constitutes GDP? Does growth = good growth is money
– Money creation and possibly a legitimised MLM/ Ponzi scheme?
– Bay Bugs
23/9 Staging: Hutang Belantara — The Expansive Debt by Teater Ekamatra (Singapore) at NTU-CCA, Gillman Barracks
I posted this on Facebook:
Didn’t even realise there was such a person called Tengku Alam Shah. Every week, learning a bit more about Malay history in Singapore.. Or should it be.. Every week, learning a bit more about the Singapore history.
Reference in Malay: http://www.beritaharian.sg/…/ekamatra-tampilkan-kisah-tengk…
Background story on Tengku Alam Shah in English:https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tengku_Alam_Shah
Where are the members of the royal family now?
// Friend suggested I read up on Kesultanan Riau-Lingga. Parking it here firsthttps://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riau-Lingga_Sultanate
I was wondering how Irfan/ Faizal researched for this project and if they interviewed anyone. At one point it felt like something I could read from Wiki. At one point it felt like it was someone’s voice.
There were 3 Farmers’ Market happening around Singapore that day. I wonder which farms/ vendors were present at these markets, and how many people go to such places.
24/9 NTU-CCA Haze Lab Research Project at Gillman Barracks
Session 4 of 4.
– Asian Godfather
– Money Logging, Wade Davis
– Hansard and mentions of Haze.
Haze and Advertising (Marc’s sharing)
– Evidence as visuals
– visuals, create or erase evidence
– read up on Larry Sultan & Mike Mandall (using random photos and taking things out of context)
– physicality of the visuals (eg of WWF Haze ads)
– dangers of visuals which does not foster criticality (some companies riding on haze to sell their products but don’t really do much to highlight actual issue and why it is happening).
24/9 LIDAH AKU PUNYA (This Tongue is Mine) at Arts House
Musicians with a slight theatrical flair always fascinates me. Tonight it was a treat watching Bani, Eli, Mamat, Big and Aqmal.
Bani is the kind of character I can remember where I’ve seen a person before. In this case, at Artistry when he performed with Randolf Arriola, at Rocky Masters with Agnes days before his wedding, at NUH Kopitiam when I was with mum and he with the wife and at Red Baron when I was chatting with Jinny and he with Antariksa. Just this weekend when I went to NTU-CCA to catch Faizal at Hutang Belantara, Magda mentioned she was at Block 7 watching Bani instead. The next day I texted back to say it was my turn watching him at Arts House. I think Saturday was probably the first time I managed to catch him in action, in full set. Shawn who was taking photos for the event had described Bani as the crazy one, and during the performance I saw why he was described as that. Eli and Mamat of The Psalms were accompanying him. There was one point during the shoe where he laid on the floor proclaiming he is the husband of Ila and that they are expecting their first child and he sounded so excited. I couldn’t help feeling happy for him too. And then later when Big performed and he mentioned his wife shopping in Johor for tudungs, and later outside of Arts House when I saw Aqmal leaving with his wife, I can’t help feeling in awe of these male musicians who adore their wives and express it publicly.
A few hours later at Substation, I saw Eli, Mamat, Isyraf and Mish outside just hanging out. I hugged Eli before leaving. And I left wondering how they kept it together after all these years. That is the kind of friendship I hope to have too.
How do I establish relationships and manage them?
24/9 Event: Hong Lim Park 3 Times at Substation
We watched a short video recording 3 times, and had responses from 3 main people and some members of the audience.
One of the objectives of the project (video year 2000) was to gather artistic response to Hong Lim Park.. though until now I’m not sure if anyone did just that.There were questions on whether HLP was opened up as a space for political or social reasons, or if it was just a showcase, or maybe a site that really was meant to show freedom of expressions (regardless of regulations).”>Read up on
– Dr Calvin Tan
– Thye Chye Poh
– Tan Chong Kee
– James Gomez
– Think Centre
– Christopher Neo
– 1993 Vienna Conventions on Human Rights
25/9 Latent Action – The Asian Village Project at Substation
I had no idea there is such a thing called Pulau Ubin Residency Experience (PURE) which is an arts collective based in Ubin formed in late 2015.
Sharing revolved around the current artists in residence at Ubin.
Discussions on City Island vs Lonely Island concept
– Wang Chuyu and “Fish’s of South Sea”
– Jeremy Hiah
28/9 Occupy Residency Room- Activism talk led by Huiying Ng. I probably came for the first hour only.
29/9 Climate Change Working Group organised by Post-Museum at Substation
Session 4 out of 4. I’m leading this session.. and um.. the title on the slides (which I did up between 9 to 17 Sep) says: Using Art to Influence the Climate Change Narrative.
Technically this working group sessions are meant to be closed-door to allow better interactions.. but I apparently can invite friends. So. If for some reason you are reading this and you want to attend, let me know. I’m trying to keep track of who is coming/ how many are coming, so I can figure out what group activity to do.
This would also be my 12th and last time at Substation this month. I think.
I checked my schedule for October, and am mentally prepared to be out for events only on 7 days.
Other than that, planning to stay offline for most of October to focus on SYCA, #LepakInSG and #EatWithHandsInSG, family, life, stuff.