The City and the Writer: Special Series, Singapore 2015

By Nathalie Handal

An Introduction to this Special Series of The City and the Writer”: Focus on Singapore

Founded as a British port in the early 19th Century, Singapore is celebrating its fiftieth year as an independent nation in 2015. As one of the most urbanized countries in the world, the prosperous Southeast Asian city-state is peopled by settlers and immigrants hailing from many of the world's great cultures. Emerging from this confluence, Singapore's literary voices are cosmopolitan, complex, and richly varied. English—the medium of administration, instruction and commerce—is the most prolific literary language, but shares space with other significant languages such as Chinese, Malay and Tamil. The celebrated authors in this series represent the diversity and depth of contemporary Singaporean letters: their work swims between vernaculars, conventions, and codes for an idiom adequate to shifting and often discordant contemporary realities.

              —Guest Editor Alvin Pang


About Before I Forget: Images of Singapore

Alvin Pang eschews the glitzy skylines that dominate media representations of Singapore in order to document figures, faces, shapes, and spaces in transition—some already vanished. Captured in a variety of film and digital formats between 1999 and 2015, they suggest secrets and symmetries that often pass unnoticed in a restless metropolis with little time for pause but with many stories still to be told.

"Before I Forget: Images of Singapore" (City and the Writer from Words without Borders on Vimeo.

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