When was the last time you visited Johor Bahru? Was it for some fish head curry? Some waffles at a cafe? Or were you simply there for some of that legendary banana cake from Hiap Joo?

Past the debate about who invented chilli crab and some insensitive jokes about exchange rates, are we that different after all?

From the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI) comes “SAMA-SAMA”, a public photo exhibition celebrating the lives of people who have a special relationship with the Singapore-Malaysia Causeway.

Happening this Sunday (Apr 8) from 12PM to 5PM, the free event will showcase photo stories of those living and working near the Causeway. The photo exhibition will be held at Kult Studio & Gallery, located at Emily Hill.

SINGAPORE - Zulklfli Binsusin, 58, taking a break outside the Woodlands Point mall. Though the mall was shut down one and a half years ago, Mr Binsusin still takes his breaks there regularly. (Photo: "SAMA-SAMA" Team)

SINGAPORE – Zulklfli Binsusin, 58, taking a break outside the Woodlands Point mall. Though the mall was shut down one and a half years ago, Mr Binsusin still takes his breaks there regularly. (Photo: “SAMA-SAMA” Team)

In addition to the main exhibit, highlights include food tastings of popular snacks from Singapore and Malaysia. Visitors can also expect live buskers during the exhibition.

The Causeway Connection

The photo exhibition is entirely created and curated by undergraduate students from the WKWSCI Photojournalism module this semester.

“We chose the Causeway as our exhibition subject to show that people from both sides are not that different. There are similarities in the way we live and how we go about our daily lives,” said Jeremy Teo, co-chairperson of “SAMA-SAMA”.

The second-year broadcast and cinema studies student added: “Our exhibition seeks to look beyond the physical Causeway, viewing it not as a barrier but something that connects us.”

JOHOR BAHRU - 50-year-old Subramanian lost his left hand 30 years ago in a fireworks accident. Despite his circumstances, he still remains to maintain a bubbly personality, and is full of youthful vigour. (Photo: "SAMA-SAMA" Team)

JOHOR BAHRU – 50-year-old Subramanian lost his left hand 30 years ago in a fireworks accident. Despite his circumstances, he still remains to maintain a bubbly personality, and is full of youthful vigour. (Photo: “SAMA-SAMA” Team)

Vanessa Cheng, co-chairperson of “SAMA-SAMA” said: “The exhibition tells a story of parallels with our neighbours across the border. Visitors can expect in-depth stories of people who cross the border every day and how we’re more alike than we think.”

Established in 1992, the Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information (WKWSCI) offers communication studies at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU).

JOHOR BAHRU – Brothers Butalim (left) and Amy (right) Sugardo hail from Sabah. They moved to Johor Bahru two years ago with their mother, in search for better jobs. (Photo: "SAMA-SAMA" Team)

JOHOR BAHRU – Brothers Butalim (left) and Amy (right) Sugardo hail from Sabah. They moved to Johor Bahru two years ago with their mother, in search for better jobs. (Photo: “SAMA-SAMA” Team)

SINGAPORE – Nandakumar Sahi works at the site of the old Woodlands Town Centre, and is in charge of driving trucks around to transport construction materials. Though he enjoys his work, Mr Sahi still misses home dearly.(Photo: "SAMA-SAMA" Team)

SINGAPORE – Nandakumar Sahi works at the site of the old Woodlands Town Centre, and is in charge of driving trucks around to transport construction materials. Though he enjoys his work, Mr Sahi still misses home dearly.(Photo: “SAMA-SAMA” Team)

Previous Exhibitions

Under course instructor Mr Samuel He, the WKWSCI Photojournalism module has held three successful exhibitions in previous years.

Starting with the “Last Weeks With Rochor” exhibition in 2016, Mr He introduced the exhibition as an assignment, typically held near the end of each semester. The inaugural exhibition featured the lives of residents from Rochor Centre before its closure.


The following year, students from the Photojournalism module organised the “Bidadari and Beyond” and “This Is Yishun” exhibitions at the Central Public Library and Yishun Park Hawker Centre.

For their focus on heritage and culture, the series of exhibitions have received coverage from print publications The Straits Times, Lianhe Zaobao, Shin Min Daily News, online publications Mothership, Our Grandfather Story, and YP.SG, as well as broadcaster MediaCorp Channel 5.

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SAMA-SAMA: A Photo Exhibition

12PM – 5PM, Sunday, 8 April 2018

kult
Block C2-5, Emily Hill 11 Upper Wilkie Road, Singapore 228120

Event is free!

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