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IndigNation, the LGBTIQ Pride Season, will have participants celebrating and contemplating about the queer community in Singapore mostly through the Arts.
In its 13th year running, IndigNation will host and organise a multitude of events that include pertinent discussions, film screenings, poetry and literature during the weekends of August.
The pride season will kick off with the IndigNation Opening Party on Aug 4 in DYMK. The rest of the weekend will see Out Bar, DYMK and Epiphyte take on a more serious atmosphere with many talks and discussions about topics that matter to the LGBTIQ community.
These talks, held at various timings throughout the weekend, are grouped under a programme called Natural Education 2: A Queer Conference.
The conference’s opening talk will explore the creative methods of forming public gatherings about causes people care about in the face of obstacles and restrictions.
In addition, as Section 377A has been a hotly debated topic in the LGBTIQ community, two discussions about the controversial law will be conducted.
One will discuss the history, strategies and impact of the country’s first LGBT social media campaign back in 2007. The 10-year-old movement was launched as an attempt to get Section 377A repealed.
The second discussion, also the finale to the conference, will be a long table discussion about long-term activism and the future after 377A.
Furthermore, with an anti-HIV drug, Pre-exposure prophylaxis, having arrived in Singapore only last year, a men’s health doctor from Atlas Pacific Medical will conduct a talk to explain its use and debunk misconceptions about the drug.
The conference will host a total of 13 talks. Other topics that will be discussed include the LGBT Malay community, the laws behind same-sex unions and breakups and how bisexual and pansexual individuals navigate society.
Most of the talks are free, but some require registration.
IndigNation’s focus on its multicultural and diverse LGBTIQ community fits in well with the National Day weekend.
Sayang/Chellame: A Multilingual Queer Love Poetry Event will have love poems recited by Singaporean and Malaysian poets in Malay, Tamil, Mandarin, Kristang and Thai.
The poetry sharing event will be conducted in Artistry on 11 Aug.
The following week, the silver screen with merge with multifaceted LGBTIQ issues to bring IndigNation Film Festival.
The film festival returns for the third time with four films from the USA, Taiwan and Thailand that give fresh and thought-provoking insights into LGBTIQ issues.
The opening film, Front Cover, narrates a love story about two young men of Chinese descent. It won Best Narrative Film at the Boston Asian American Film Festival 2016 and Best Full Feature at the Serile Filmului Gay International Film Festival 2016 in Romania.
IndigNation Film Festival will also celebrate local films with a screening of LGBT short films made by filmmakers such as Gladys Ng, Royston Tan and Kirsten Tan.
After a hiatus of five years, Short Circuit 6 returns for its sixth instalment with a showcase of eight local short films.
For IndigNation’s final weekend, participants will take to queer creative writing with a supernatural twist at ContraDiction XIII: HOMO BOMOH. The audience will get to hear horrific tales and songs at The Projector.
On 28 August, IndigNation will come to a close with a fundraising dinner prepared by drag queens Ashley Fifty, Becca D’Bus and Mona Kee Kee.
IndigNation focuses a lot more on discussions within the community of LGBTIQ people and allies, said Ng Yi Sheng, one of the event’s main organisers.
“We’re trying to educate each other on neglected issues and bring different parts of the community together. That’s why you’ll see events like Sayang/Chellame: A Multilingual Queer Love Poetry Event because many queer Singaporeans don’t know that we have queer writers who pen poetry in Malay, Mandarin and Tamil.”
The restrictions that Pink Dot 2017 faced was the main inspiration for IndigNation 2017’s theme.
Security barriers were erected around the event area at Hong Lim Park on July 1. Foreigners were not allowed to attend Pink Dot and it became impossible for Singaporean branches of international corporations to sponsor the event.
Hence, IndigNation’s theme, ‘Unafraid to Assemble’, was chosen to reflect the challenges of public assembly in Singapore.
More information on IndigNation 2017 and links to register for events can be found here.
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