New productions, partnerships and perspectives – that is what the 18th edition of the Singapore Writers Festival promises as it returns to the Civic District (Empress Place area). It aims to reach out to a wider, more diverse audience with more than 300 events, including a strong series of cross-genre, intercultural events.
Curated around the theme “Island of Dreams”, this year’s Festival will feature programmes that invite audiences to celebrate and reflect on our hopes and aspirations.
Being launched at the Festival this year is a range of publications to celebrate Singapore’s milestone 50th anniversary, exploring not only Singapore’s development in the last 50 years but also the dreams of our nation. These include the National Arts Council-commissioned Singathology, edited by Gwee Li Sui, which showcases 50 new works by past recipients of the Cultural Medallion and the Young Artist Awards.
Commenting on the theme and programming, Mr Yeow Kai Chai, Festival Director, shares: “The Singapore Writers Festival has always been a space where lively exchanges of ideas take place, and in this edition, we look forward to inviting audiences from all walks of life to look within and share the dreams they have for themselves and for the society. As the Festival continues to evolve, we are excited to introduce a series of new collaborations and programmes, and hope to create opportunities of varied experiences for our festival-goers.”
What’s different this year? It will be the launch of five festival tracks – SWF Stage, SWF3, SWF POP, SWF Class and SWF Beyond – which cater to audiences with varying interests, from fiction and poetry to song-writing and column-writing.
The first-ever collaboration between SWF and Esplanade – Theatres on the Bay called Dimensions and Demons, featuring Singapore writers and musicians working on original compositions. Furthermore, the launch of this year’s SWF with a South-east Asia focus brands itself as the gateway to the region and integral to understanding the literary standards of writers here.
The Festival’s refreshed format comprises five festival tracks that will guide festival-goers through the two-week event. Audiences will be treated to a slew of experiential programmes inspired by the written word and beyond – from interactive theatre and musical shows to spoken-word events and film screenings. Each of the events is broadly categorised under the following:
- SWF Stage consists of SWF Lectures, ticketed performances & the ever-popular Closing Debate
Performers/Writers include: A double-bill gig featuring In Each Hand a Cutlass and I am David Sparkle; and a Singapore lecture on Imagining Singapore…featuring Ho Kwon Ping, Bertha Henson and Pooja Nansi.
- SWF Class includes workshops and master-classes for budding writers as well as professionals, including a free workshop by Shirley Geok-Lin Lim for the pioneer generation.
Writers include: Yap Seow Choong, Roger Jenkins, Justin Cronin, Susan Orlean
- SWF Beyond transcends language, genre and media – Music, Films, Translations
Writers include: Sezairi Sezali, Joel Tan (Gentle Bones), Desmond Kon, Alfian Sa’at, Eric Tinsay Valles, Divya Victor, Gwee Li Sui, Jerrold Yam and Han Lao Da.
- SWF3 comprises family-friendly programmes for the little ones, adolescents, parents and guardians.
Writers include: Ah Guo, Adeline Foo, Emily Lim, Kenneth Quek, Chris Haughton
- SWF POP features fun and free pop-ups that will surprise and entertain you on the festival grounds.
Performers include: The Lorong Boys, Wobology, Take Two, HubbaBubbas.
Cover photo: Singapore Writers Festival
Festival Passes and tickets are available via SISTIC at www.sistic.com.sg. Singapore Writers Festival runs from 30 October to 08 November 2015.