Doing: the work of dreaming

I participated in the M1 Peer Pleasure Youth Theatre Festival as a member of their resource panel. Here are some of my reflections:

In a theatre, it is possible to conjure up another world, other worlds. Here is perhaps where this festival is at its most dreamy and yet also where the solutions it has already enacted are the most concrete. The other worlds are most obviously witnessed in the final products – in the fantasy scenes performed on stage, in the transformation of single actors into multiple characters by costume and lighting, in the interplay between real-life words and imagined sentences.

But what I am thinking of here goes back to process: in a city in a hurry, these naughty people insisted on taking up time, filling up hours, days, months—with meetings, workshops, conversations, movement, community walks, devising, rehearsing. In a culture uncomfortable with difference, these renegades held steady with diversity and disagreement – creating safe circles, playing games to diffuse tension, talking through uncomfortable feelings in small groups, giving each other feedback, relentlessly insisting on respect but also on honesty. In a society fixated on performance as measured by narrow criteria and static outcomes, the festival has focused on scaffolding – for continuous thinking, learning, interacting, challenging, being; the process is as important as the outcome. Radical, yet concrete. Sometimes when you want a different world, a better world, you have to begin occupying your current one as if you’re already living the dream.

You can read the full piece here.

A new website

Welcome to my new website. I have set this page up as a place to share links and information about my books, op-eds, and research.

The last few months have been busy. A new, second edition of This Is What Inequality Looks Like hit bookstores in May 2019. I wrote and recorded a new Afterword for this edition. 

May also saw the launch of “What older people need in Singapore: A households budgets study”, a Minimum Income Standard research project I undertook with collaborators, Ng Kok Hoe, Neo Yu Wei, and Ad Maulod. Please watch and share this short explainer video:

Finally, I have been involved with, a new initiative which several scholars have launched to promote Singapore studies and to encourage critical debate about the state of intellectual life in Singapore.

You can find out more about my other books and publications at this page, which I will update from time to time. I will also post links to my op-eds on this blog. Thank you for reading.