The 16th Singapore Writer’s Festival

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Literary Utopia: Singapore Writers Festival

Screen Shot 2013-11-04 at 10.48.35 AM By: Clarence Lim 

Acting Minister for the Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth (MCCY) Lawrence Wong officially opened the 16th Singapore Writers Festival (SWF) on 1 November, with the theme this year being Utopia/Dystopia. The opening ceremony was graced by the festival’s local and international featured writers, the media and key figures in the local arts scene.

The opening night was highly entertaining, with local and international poets wowing the crowd with their literary genius. Popular local act, Jack and Rai, performed the festival’s theme song, aptly named ‘The End’ that is laced with dystopic wordplay. Following that, the acting minister gave his opening address, which was highly positive and affirmative of the local arts scene, laying out the slew of policies and grants set in place to grow the arts and culture in Singapore. On that note, the festival was set into motion.

From 1-10 November 2013, one can look out for an impressive multi-lingual program lineup featuring literary luminaries, which will be taking place at SMU, National Museum of Singapore, Singapore Arts Museum, The Arts House and National Museum. The lineup includes book launches, workshops, panel debates, lectures, Little Lit! sessions for the young, and many more. The sessions will allow readers, writers and literary fans to pick the minds of their favorite authors as well as to be inspired by the vitality of the discussions and sharing that will take place. This year’s theme aim to examine the utopia/dystopia dichotomy, tapping on narratives and tropes in creative writing to delve into weighty issues such as violence, morality, death, justice and good versus evil. As literary tropes act as good platforms to represent attitudes towards socio-cultural issues, it is exciting that this festival provide a platform where like-minded individuals can gather and dissect these issues to a deeper level.

As an avid reader and writer, I am truly looking forward to immersing myself in this literary dreamland over the next 10 days, and soaking in the esteemed works of local and international authors. Indeed, for individuals like myself, this might be our version of utopia.