Planning a successful offline event that brings people together to share their stories has always been an important outreach objective for us. This stems from a recognition that the bulk of the project resides digitally on the Singapore Memory portal, and we have had only a few offline events to reach out to the heartlands, especially residents who have yet to cross the digital divide. But the question was where should we go?
Toa Payoh came up naturally as one of the top suggestions when we polled our team members, as it is one of the oldest estates in Singapore with a rich history. The National Library Board’s well-loved branch at Toa Payoh Central had also meant that some of our more senior colleagues have a certain sentimental attachment to the neighborhood. So when we saw Nguan’s photographs of Toa Payoh shot on film interspersed with a narrative by Justin Zhuang, the choice became exceedingly obvious.
We hope this marks the beginnings of a series of neighborhood-specific outreach events, to completely map out a geo-spatial distribution of memories. So if you’re part of your local grassroots group looking to preserve memories of your estate, write to us and your neighborhood might be our next carnival destination. 🙂
Separately, the upcoming carnival at Toa Payoh is another major milestone for the Singapore Memory Project – we will officially launch our commissioned content showcase, featuring material created by local artists, filmmakers and documenters on what “Singapore memory” means to them. Look out for an upcoming blog post as we provide some teasers on what these commissioned works will look like at our Toa Payoh carnival.
I’ll leave you here with some short clips on some of the discussions that have been taking place as we build the event up from scratch. On the surface, these amateurish clips may provide viewers with only a cursory insight to the hardworking faces behind the Singapore Memory Project; but on a personal level, they remind me that it is passion and commitment to the goals of preserving 5 million stories, as my colleagues have shown, that make my work so enjoyable.
Singapore Memory Project