Tagged: stereotypes

Singapore Condition(s)

I was sitting at a nice chinese restaurant at kitchener road, which was at Little India area, on a Sunday…

Eating at a chinese place, I felt a sense of dislocation as I saw busloads of india/bangladeshi workers coming in for their weekend jaunt, I guess. And on and on, it happened…

Watching this scene got me thinking, that there really isn’t a single Singapore-ness that can be defined. There are, in actual fact, many Singapore(s) co-existing, and they are in constant contestations with one another. The PAP, with its control of the newspapers, TV, radio, has a ‘Singapore’ to portray and project onto the minds of Singaporeans, while different Singaporeans from different ‘niches’? have different projections of a different Singapore(s). All of these Singapore(s) are coexisting at the same time, and from time to time, a few dominant projections become dominant, only to fade away, and for another to become dominant. It is also possible, in the minds of people, to hold different, contradictory projections of Singapore…

I’m really, thinking, the ‘Affluent Singapore’ has got hardly anything to say about the ‘Heartland Singapore’… all of these are gross generalisations, and of course, reality is far, far more nuanced than that… What troubles me is that people aren’t aware of the generalisations they are taking, and people carry on with the stereotypes that are dominating in their minds. I mean, ‘Geylang’ is more than a word, or a place. It brings with it certain images, some negative, others positive… and I get to experience that, when I say I live in Geylang.

I’m thinking, a photojournalistic project could on on the cards, using photos and intelligent words to depict the microcosms that constitutes Singapore. I imagine a nice decent camera, with a bicycle, and good buddies to do this with… hmm…

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